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

Summary

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

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