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Case report
Imatinib-induced pericardial effusion in a child


A 12-year-old boy presented with central chest pain, shortness of breath and type 1 respiratory failure. He had a background of graft versus host disease (GvHD), which was currently managed with imatinib therapy. A focused bedside ultrasound scan was performed revealing a large pericardial effusion. The child was referred to a tertiary paediatric cardiology centre where he underwent emergency pericardiocentesis, draining a total of 800 mL of pericardial fluid. Fluid analysis excluded infection, and with no other concerns for a GvHD flare the diagnosis of an imatinib-induced pericardial effusion was made. On terminating the therapy, the pericardial collection did not reaccumulate. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor-induced pericardial and/or pleural effusion should be considered as a differential diagnosis in paediatric patients on this therapy presenting in a similar manner.

  • tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • sickle cell disease
  • unwanted effects/adverse reactions
  • paediatrics
  • cardiovascular medicine
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