Echocardiography-Guided or “Sided” Pericardiocentesis

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Echocardiography-guided pericardiocentesis is the first choice method for relieving cardiac tamponade, but the exact role of the echocardiography at the moment of the puncture is still controversial. In this report, detailed echocardiographic evaluation was performed in 21 consecutive patients with cardiac tamponade just before the pericardiocentesis. Appropriate needle position was determined according to the probe position using imaginary x, y, and z axes. Pericardiocentesis was performed successfully using this technique without simultaneous echocardiography and no complications were observed. We concluded that bedside echocardiography with detailed evaluation of the puncture site and angle is enough for pericardiocentesis instead of real time guiding.

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