BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-226112
  • Rare disease

Pericardial sarcoma

  1. Rasha Abayazeed2
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yehia Saleh, yehia.saleh{at}
  • Accepted 13 September 2018
  • Published 7 October 2018


Pericardial sarcomas are extremely rare aggressive neoplasms. Non-specific symptoms and incidental discovery are usually the rule. Multimodality imaging is extremely important for diagnosis and tissue characterisation of all cardiac masses. Despite treatment, pericardial sarcomas are considered extremely fatal. We encountered a 27-year-old female patient who presented to our facility with progressive dyspnoea. On examination, clinical signs of cardiac tamponade were appreciated, transthoracic echocardiography revealed a tamponading pericardial effusion and a large heterogeneous pericardial mass. Pericardiocentesis revealed haemorrhagic fluid. Subsequently, CT revealed a pericardial mass compressing the right atrium. Excision biopsy showed a well-circumscribed mass, and cut sections showed friable grey–white tissue with areas of haemorrhage and necrosis. Pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of high-grade undifferentiated sarcoma of the pericardium. The patient was started on adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Follow-up after 1 year showed no relapse.


  • Contributors MHA, AA, RA and YS provided care to the patient. MHA wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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