Article Text

Pericardial effusion as first presentation of disseminated non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma


A 46-year-old woman with quiescent lupus presented with worsening pleuritic chest pain and dyspnoea. Bedside echocardiogram confirmed large pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade. Emergency bedside pericardiocentesis was performed. Pericardial fluid cytology confirmed diffuse large B cell lymphoma, stage four on positron emission tomography. Conventional rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone chemotherapy achieved good response in all sites except the pericardium. Progressive cardiac involvement was complicated by atrioventricular conduction block requiring permanent pacemaker. Second-line palliative chemotherapy was performed.

  • cardiovascular medicine
  • pericardial disease
  • pacing and electrophysiology
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • cancer - see oncology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.