Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the etiology in 100 tertiary care patients who underwent pericar-diocentesis in the last 5 years due to cardiac tamponade or large pericardial effusion (floating heart) through retrospective analysis of their echocardiographic findings, biochemical and cytological test results, and imaging methods.
Materials and Methods: The records of 100 patients who underwent pericardiocentesis in 20142019 due to pericardial effusion were reviewed retrospectively. Their etiology was determined by recording their echocardiograms, biochemical test results, imaging results, and those of laboratory tests performed on pericardial fluid, culture, and cytology results. All data of the patients were recorded and analyzed.
Results: Cardiac tamponade was the most common reason (77%) for pericardiocentesis performed in the patients in the study group. Of the drained effusions, 56% were macroscopically hemorrhagic. The most common etiology was associated with idiopathic causes by 32%. Malignancy was found only in 44.6% of the hemorrhagic effusions. Cytological examination revealed 83% benign findings. Only 58.6% of the patients with malignancy were found to have malignant cells in their cytological tests.
Conclusion: The most common cause was idiopathic in the patients for whom pericardiocentesis was indicated in our study group. Nearly half of the macroscopically hemorrhagic effusions had malignancy. Half of the patients who developed effusion due to malignancy were found to have malignant cells in cytological tests. This study differs from other studies conducted in Turkey because it included a higher number of patients and its results are important to guide our daily practice.