In many conditions, pericardial effusions can accompany pericardial disease. These effusions can be small and benign, or larger and hemodynamically significant depending on pericardial compliance and other factors. Cardiac tamponade has typical symptoms and signs, although these can be subtle and require careful attention. Typical findings of cardiac tamponade on physical exam and in the cardiac catheterization laboratory are described and discussed.

Course Details

In this course, you will learn:
  • To differentiate pericardial effusions from cardiac tamponade based on symptoms, signs, and hemodynamic measurements
  • To enumerate the typical physical findings and significance of pericardial effusion in a clinical context
  • To differentiate the typical findings of cardiac tamponade in the cardiac catheterization laboratory from other related conditions

Method and medium:

Learners participate in the interactive learning modules by correctly answering multiple choice questions dispersed throughout. Learners will be prompted to try again if a question is answered incorrectly.

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Estimated time to Complete: 30 minutes
Credit/contact hours: .5
Expiration date: March 14, 2022
Publication date: March 14, 2019

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Course Author

Michael Ragosta III, MD

Professor of Medicine/Cardiology

Dr. Michael Ragosta is an attending cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System with a sub-specialty in interventional cardiology. 
Learn More about Michael Ragosta III, MD.

DISCLOSURE: This individual reports no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.