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    Pericardial Effusion

    Pericardial Effusion

    Normal heart and heart with pericardial effusion

    In a normal heart, a thin layer called the pericardium surrounds and protects the heart. There is a small amount of fluid between the pericardium and the heart. This fluid helps cushion the heart.

    But sometimes too much fluid builds up in this space around the heart. This is called pericardial effusion. This extra fluid puts pressure on the heart and can cause chest pain and serious heart problems.

    By Healthwise Staff
    Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
    Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
    Last Revised April 2, 2013

    Last Revised: April 2, 2013

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

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