Ultrasound Case 006


A patient with known metastatic breast cancer presents with increasing exertional dyspnoea.

Describe and interpret these scans

Image 1: Apical 4 chamber view:

There is a large pericardial effusion with some associated right sided chamber collapse. There pericardial fluid is echogenic with fine homogeneous echoes seen throughout.


Large echogenic pericardial effusion with associated right sided chamber collapse.

The echogenic nature of the pericardial fluid means it is not a transudate but otherwise is not particularly specific.

Blood, proteinaceous exudate from malignancy or autoimmune inflammatory processes, or purulent fluid from infectious causes can all have a similar appearance.



An Emergency physician based in Perth, Western Australia. Professionally my passion lies in integrating advanced diagnostic and procedural ultrasound into clinical assessment and management of the undifferentiated patient. Sharing hard fought knowledge with innovative educational techniques to ensure knowledge translation and dissemination is my goal. Family, wild coastlines, native forests, and tinkering in the shed fills the rest of my contented time. | SonoCPDUltrasound library | Top 100 | @thesonocave |

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