Cardiac tamponade. Definition

Medical Definition: cardiac tamponade

Compression of the heart chambers due to the accumulation, usually sharp and large, fluid in the pericardial cavity (see effusion). Causes an important limitation to cardiac filling and therefore starts with an actual decrease in cardiac output and cardiogenic shock. Usually due to neoplastic, infectious, trauma, or connective tissue diseases. Is a medical emergency where immediate treatment is pericardiocentesis.

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