Pericardial effusion risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Abdelrahman Ibrahim Abushouk, MD[2]


Few studies have highlighted the following as possible risk factors for pericardial effusion (in the presence of a cause): older age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, and atrial fibrillation

Risk Factors

Common risk factors

Few studies have highlighted the following as possible risk factors for pericardial effusion (in the presence of a cause)[1][2]

Less common risk factors

  • Left atrial size
  • Length of hospitalization after cardiac procedures
  • History of catheter ablation.


  1. Lan L, Zeng Y, Wang WR, Chen N, Liu QG, Gan SY; et al. (2013). "Clinical characteristics and risk factors of pericardial effusion complicating radiofrequency catheter ablation in Chinese Han patients with tachyarrhythmias". Herz. 38 (8): 909–14. doi:10.1007/s00059-013-3762-x. PMID 23430092.
  2. Ma W, Liu J, Zeng Y, Chen S, Zheng Y, Ye S; et al. (2012). "Causes of moderate to large pericardial effusion requiring pericardiocentesis in 140 Han Chinese patients". Herz. 37 (2): 183–7. doi:10.1007/s00059-011-3428-5. PMID 21301790.