The indications for pericardiectomy in the uremic pericardial effusion

J. P. Connors, R. E. Kleiger, R. C. Shaw, J. D. Voiles, R. E. Clark, H. Harter, C. L. Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Uremic pericarditis developed in 37 of 295 patients (8 percent) admitted to the chronic hemodialysis program at our institution. Sixteen patients (43 percent) underwent limited pericardiectomy through a left anterior thoracotomy approach with no operative deaths and minimal morbidity (19 percent). Twenty one patients (57 percent) were treated successfully with intensive hemodialysis. The use of pericardiocentesis did not avert cardiac tamponade in any patient in our series. The procedure was associated with two life threatening complications and its use, therefore, has been limited in the therapy of uremic pericarditis. The authors recommend surgical intervention in all patients with hemodynamic instability and echocardiographic evidence of enlarging effusions or an effusion unchanged in size following 10 days of intensive hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-694
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976


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