Clinico-Epidemiological Study of Pericardial Effusion in Northern India
Background: Pericardial effusions may be discovered incidentally or as life-threatening scenario of cardiac tamponade. Hence, etiological identification of pericardial effusion proves crucial in-patient management. Aim: To assess the clinical presentation and etiology of pericardial effusion at a tertiary-care centre in India. Methods: This was a retrospective, observational, single-centre one-year hospital-based study. Data from 70 diagnosed cases of pericardial effusion from our tertiary-care centre in India from August 2016 to July 2017 was retrospectively reviewed. A diagnosis of pericardial effusion was confirmed based on findings from clinical history, examination, specific laboratory investigations, and radiological investigations. Pericardial fluid analysis was also performed. Results: The mean age of the patients was 46.87±14.40 years. Almost equal frequencies of men 36 (51.4%) and women 34 (48.6%) were observed. The most commonly observed signs/symptoms of patients diagnosed with pericardial effusion was raised jugular venous pulse in 39 (55.7%) patients, breathlessness in 36 (51.4%) patients, and tachypnea and tachycardia (heart rate >100 beats per minute) in 33 (47.1%) patients each. An etiology of tubercular effusion was common in 32 (44.4%) patients. On analyzing data according to the underlying etiology, the most frequent sign/symptom was raised jugular venous pulse in 20 (62.5%) patients diagnosed with tubercular effusion, tachypnea in 10 (52.6%) patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism and tachycardia in 12 (63.2%) patients with a diagnosis other than pericardial effusion or hypothyroidism. Conclusions: The high prevalence of tuberculosis in India warrants increased control and awareness of this infection.
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