PERICARDIAL EFFUSION:

collection of pericardial fluid

  The above ultrasound image of the heart in a neonate shows a small hypoechoic collection (pericardial fluid), between the two layers of the pericardium. Image courtesy of Dr. Vikas Arora, Ferozepur, India.

large pericardial effusion

sonography of pericardial effusion

ultrasound image pericardial effusion

ultrasound pericardial effusion

The 4 ultrasound images show a relatively larger pericardial effusion in a young woman with no previous history of cardiac or related illness. These images are courtesy of Mr. Shlomo Gobi, Israel. Pericardial effusion is graded as:

     Large effusion: if the thickness of layer of fluid is more than 1 cm.

     Medium effusion: if the thickness of the layer of fluid is less than 1 cm., but it surrounds the heart.

      Small effusion: if the layer of fluid is less than 1 cm. and is limited to the posterior region.