A pericardial friction rub occurs in 6 to 16% of patients after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but the incidence of pericardial effusion (PE) is not known. M-mode echocardiography was done 1, 3 and 5 days after AMI in 43 consecutive patients admitted within 24 hours of AMI, and PE was detected in 16 (37%). The PE was small in 7 patients, moderate in 6 and large in 3. A pericardial friction rub developed in 8 (19%), of whom only 4 had PE. Pleuritic chest pain diminished by sitting up and relieved by antiinflammatory agents developed in 12 (28%), of whom only 5 had PE. The peak creatine kinase level was significantly higher in patients with PE (1,769 ± 1,003 U) than in those without (1,181 ± 838 units). More patients with PE were in Killip classification II, III or IV (11 of 16 [69%] vs 9 of 27 [33%]). The presence of PE was not associated with age, site of AMI, development of Q waves, use of heparin or previous AMI. In conclusion, PE as detected by M-mode echocardiography is frequently present after AMI, and its presence is not closely associated with the occurrence of a pericardial friction rub or typical pericardial pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine