Single center experience of pediatric percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy

Christopher Herron, Thomas J. Forbes, Daisuke Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Abstract Background: Percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy is a percutaneous procedure that creates a window in the parietal pericardium by balloon dilation. The use of percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy has not been reported well in children. Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe the single centre experience of percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy in children. Methods: This was a retrospective study to describe all the children aged <20 years undergoing percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy during an 18-year period (2001-2019). Patient characteristics, technical and ultimate procedural success, and repeat interventions were collected. Results: A total of 13 percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy's were performed in 11 children at the median age of 12 years (range 1.8-19). The etiologies of pericardial effusion were post-pericardiotomy syndrome (n = 4), restrictive cardiomyopathy (n = 1), autoimmune diseases (n = 3), malignancy (n = 2), and idiopathic (n = 1). Two patients received two percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy. The technical success of percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy was 100% with no acute adverse events (balloon rupture or local bleeding). Five (45%) required re-intervention and ultimately three required a surgical pericardial window 6 to 35 days after the percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy. As a result, ultimate procedural success rate was 73% (8/11). Conclusion: Percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy was performed safely with high technical success in children. Percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy may be considered for recurrent and persistent pericardial effusion, before considering a surgical pericardial window.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-215
Number of pages4
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Keywords: Percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy
  • paediatric
  • pericardial effusion


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