Comparison of Outcomes of Pericardiocentesis Versus Surgical Pericardial Window in Patients Requiring Drainage of Pericardial Effusions.

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Comparison of Outcomes of Pericardiocentesis Versus Surgical Pericardial Window in Patients Requiring Drainage of Pericardial Effusions.

Am J Cardiol. 2017 Sep 01;120(5):883-890

Authors: Horr SE, Mentias A, Houghtaling PL, Toth AJ, Blackstone EH, Johnston DR, Klein AL

Abstract
Comparative outcomes of patients undergoing pericardiocentesis or pericardial window are limited. Development of pericardial effusion after cardiac surgery is common but no data exist to guide best management. Procedural billing codes and Cleveland Clinic surgical registries were used to identify 1,281 patients who underwent either pericardiocentesis or surgical pericardial window between January 2000 and December 2012. The 656 patients undergoing an intervention for a pericardial effusion secondary to cardiac surgery were also compared. Propensity scoring was used to identify well-matched patients in each group. In the overall cohort, in-hospital mortality was similar between the group undergoing pericardiocentesis and surgical drainage (5.3% vs 4.4%, p = 0.49). Similar outcomes were found in the propensity-matched group (4.9% vs 6.1%, p = 0.55). Re-accumulation was more common after pericardiocentesis (24% vs 10%, p <0.0001) and remained in the matched cohorts (23% vs 9%, p <0.0001). The secondary outcome of hemodynamic instability after the procedure was more common in the pericardial window group in both the unmatched (5.2% vs 2.9%, p = 0.036) and matched cohorts (6.1% vs 2.0%, p = 0.022). In the subgroup of patients with a pericardial effusion secondary to cardiac surgery, there was a lower mortality after pericardiocentesis in the unmatched group (1.5% vs 4.6%, p = 0.024); however, after adjustment, this difference in mortality was no longer present (2.6% vs 4.5%, p = 0.36). In conclusion, both pericardiocentesis and surgical pericardial window are safe and effective treatment strategies for the patient with a pericardial effusion. In our study there were no significant differences in mortality in patients undergoing either procedure. Observed differences in outcomes with regard to recurrence rates, hemodynamic instability, and in those with postcardiac surgery effusions may help to guide the clinician in management of the patient requiring therapeutic or diagnostic drainage of a pericardial effusion.

PMID: 28739031 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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