Pericardiocentesis

Pericardial tap; Percutaneous pericardiocentesis; Pericarditis - pericardiocentesis; Pericardial effusion - pericardiocentesis

Pericardiocentesis is a procedure that uses a needle to remove fluid from the pericardial sac. This is the tissue that surrounds the heart.

Heart, front view

The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.

Pericardium

The pericardial sac surrounds and protects the heart within the chest cavity.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks