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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.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
    Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

    Current as ofOctober 1, 2015

    Current as of: October 1, 2015

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

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