Diagnostic value of chest X-ray and echocardiography for cardiac tamponade in post cardiac surgery patients

Mohammad Hamid, Mueen Ullah Khan, Allen C. Bashour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of X-ray and echocardiography (ECHO) as a diagnostic tool for cardiac tamponade in adult cardiac surgery patients. Methods: Thirty five coronary artery bypass and graft surgery patients who developed cardiac tamponade at Cleveland clinic foundation, were included in this study. Their diagnosis was confirmed at the time of re-exploration in the operating room. These patients were followed retrospectively for demographics, X-ray and echocardiography findings. Abnormal and enlarged cardiac silhouette which was different from first postoperative X-ray was used as radiological criteria for tamponade while echocardiographic diagnosis was left to the discretion of cardiologist. Results: Twenty four males (69%) and 11 (31%) females with an average age of 60.7 ± 15.2 years were included in this study. Only 7 (20%) patients met our criteria for radiological diagnosis of tamponade. All 35 patients showed pericardial effusion on ECHO while cardiac tamponade was present in 30 (86%) patients. Tamponade developed on an average on 4th postoperative day. Conclusion: Radiological diagnosis of cardiac tamponade based on changes in cardiac silhouette provide limited information while ECHO is a reliable diagnostic tool when combined with clinical findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-107
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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