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Breast Care (Basel). 2013 Mar;8(1):71-3. doi: 10.1159/000346831.

A patient with recurrent breast cancer showing long-term survival after developing pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade caused by carcinomatous pericarditis.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Kobe City Hospital Organization Kobe City Center West Hospital, Kobe Nagata-ku, Hyogo, Japan.

Abstract

in English, German

BACKGROUND:

Malignant pericardial effusion caused by carcinomatous pericarditis is a complication of advanced malignancy. Breast cancer is the second most important cause of malignant pericardial effusion. Malignant pericardial effusion is the end stage of breast cancer, and the prognosis is very poor. Pericardial effusion may cause cardiac tamponade and sudden death if it is not controlled properly. There is a debate on which is the best method to control pericardial effusion.

CASE REPORT:

We describe the clinical course of a 55-year-old woman with recurrent breast cancer, pericardial effusion, and cardiac tamponade caused by carcinomatous pericarditis. Thoracoscopic pericardial window was performed to control the pericardial effusion. The patient survived for about 5 years after being diagnosed with pericardial metastases.

CONCLUSION:

The observed long-term survival in such a patient with the development of pericardial effusions and cardiac tamponade caused by carcinomatous pericarditis attributable to breast cancer is rare. Thoracoscopic pericardial window was effective in controlling the pericardial effusion.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Carcinomatous pericarditis; Cardiac tamponade; Pericardial effusion; Thoracoscopic pericardial window

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