Pericardial tamponade may occur following cardiac surgery. Bommer et al identified criteria that can help identify a patient with tamponade. The authors are from the University of California Davis.


Criteria - presence of both of the following:

(1) unexplained clinical or hemodynamic deterioration

(2) >= 10 mm of pericardial separation (combination of lucent and dense material) on echocardiography


Clinical or hemodynamic deterioration may include:

(1) hypotension

(2) low cardiac output

(3) low renal output

(4) cardiopulmonary arrest

(5) elevated central venous pressure

(6) shortness of breath



• The sensitivity of these criteria was 100%.

• Regular echocardiographic criteria for pericardial tamponade may not perform as well in post-operative tamponade.


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