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Cardiac tamponade is a clinical diagnosis and is considered a medical emergency.
- More likely to cause tamponade: procedural complications, infection, neoplasms, or idiopathic pericarditis
- Others: postcardiotomy, autoimmune connective tissue disorders, uremia, trauma, radiation, myocardial infarction (subacute), drugs (hydralazine, procainamide, isoniazid, phenytoin, minoxidil), hypothyroidism
Fluid accumulation in the pericardial space increases the pericardial pressure. The pressure depends on the amount of fluid, the rate of accumulation, and the compliance of the pericardium. Tamponade develops when the pressure in the pericardial space is sufficiently high to interfere with adequate cardiac filling, resulting in a decrease in CO.