Timing of pericardiocentesis and clinical outcomes: Is earlier pericardiocentesis better?

Link to article at PubMed

Am J Emerg Med. 2022 Feb 3;54:202-207. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.01.062. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Pericardial tamponade is critical clinical diagnosis that requires prompt management and intervention. However, it is unknown if early pericardiocentesis is associated with better or worse patient outcomes.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed on all emergency department patients from two large academic hospitals with pericardial tamponade who underwent pericardiocentesis during the index hospitalization between March 2015-August 2020. We included only those who underwent pericardiocentesis within 24 h of their ED presentations. Subjects were stratified based on the time of pericardiocentesis, with early intervention defined as pericardiocentesis within <12 h and late intervention as those 12-24 h. Clinical outcomes of interest were; procedural complications, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, hospital length of stay (LOS), in hospital mortality, 30-day and first year survival. The effect of early vs. late intervention on survival was analyzed using log-rank tests for univariate analyses, Cox proportional hazard models for multivariable analyses and propensity matching.

RESULTS: 205 patients with a mean age of 60 years, and 53.2% female were included. The median door-to-pericardiocentesis time for the early and late group were 5.0 h [interquartile range (IQR) 3.3-7.4] and 18.5 h (IQR 15.9-21.0), respectively. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in patients in the early group more frequently demonstrated right atrial collapse (78.7% vs 58.6%) and exaggerated mitral inflow velocity variances (84.8% vs 70.0%). Early pericardiocentesis was associated with a hazard ratio of 2.909 (95% CI: 0.926-9.137, p = 0.067) for 30-day survival and 3.124 (95% CI, 1.648-5.924, p < 0.001) for 1-year survival.

CONCLUSION: Early pericardiocentesis was associated with decreased 1-year survival. Future prospective analysis adjusting for patients' complexities is required.

PMID:35176659 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2022.01.062

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