Pericardial effusion: Lateral radiograph of the chest demonstrating the pericardial fat (yellow line) and epicardial fat (red line) with opaque density separating them, indicating pericardial effusion. See oreo cookie for comparison.
Pericardiocentesis should be performed emergently on patients with signs and symptoms of cardiac tamponade regardless of coagulopathy. Pericardial tamponade occurs when fluid builds in the pericardial sac causing collapse of the right ventricle. Relative contraindications include coagulopathy, previous thoracoabdominal surgery, pacemakers, prosthetic heart valves and inability to visualize the effusion with ultrasound.
Wikipedia.org/ Pericardial Effusion-- ("fluid around the heart") is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity. Fluid accumulation leads to an increased intrapericardial pressure which can negatively affect heart function. A pericardial effusion with enough pressure to adversely affect heart function is called cardiac tamponade. Pericardial effusion usually results from a disturbed equilibrium between the production and re-absorption
Pericardial effusions occur when fluid collects in the pericardial space (a normal pericardiac sac contains approximately 30-50 ml of fluid). CT makes the diagnosis extremely easy, but is usually obtained to try and clarify the cause of an effusion rather than to confirm the diagnosis. Pericardial effusions are a frequent incidental finding in unwell hospitalised patients. http://radiopaedia.org/articles/pericardial-effusion