Pericardial window

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Pericardial window

A pericardial window is a cardiac surgical procedure to create a fistula – or "window" – from the pericardial space to the pleural cavity.[1] The purpose of the window is to allow a pericardial effusion (usually malignant) to drain from the space surrounding the heart into the chest cavity – where the fluid is not as dangerous; an untreated pericardial effusion can lead to cardiac tamponade and death.

The window is usually performed by a cardiac surgeon who makes an incision, commonly sub-xiphoid, and cuts a small hole in the pericardium which is the membrane that surrounds the heart.

The pericardial window procedure decreases the incidence of postoperative pericardial tamponade and new-onset atrial fibrillation after the open heart surgery.[2]


  1. ^ Stuart J. Hutchison (10 December 2008). Pericardial diseases: clinical diagnostic imaging atlas. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-4160-5274-6. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  2. ^ Zhao J (Apr 2014). "Does posterior pericardial window technique prevent pericardial tamponade after cardiac surgery?". J Int Med Res. 42 (2): 416–26. doi:10.1177/0300060513515436. PMID 24553479.

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