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Am J Cardiol. 1978 Aug;42(2):281-2.

Recurrent cardiac tamponade and large pericardial effusions: management with an indwelling pericardial catheter.


A new technique, using an atraumatic indwelling catheter, has been developed for short-term management of large or rapidly reaccumulating pericardial effusions. This technique (1) permits continuous pericardial fluid drainage, obviating repeated aspirations; (2) provides a convenient route for intrapericardial instillation of chemotherapeutic agents; and (3) enables one to await the results of diagnostic studies without subjecting a patient to thoracotomy. Experience in three patients suggests that in some cases the use of this catheter may eliminate the need for surgery; in others, it may serve as a valuable temporary measure to achieve stabilization of the patient's condition.

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