Epidemiology, diagnosis and therapy of neoplastic pericarditis

Chiara Lestuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The most frequent cause of neoplastic pericarditis is lung carcinoma. Autopsy detection in cancer patients is rather frequent, but in most cases it is an occasional finding without any clinical relevance. Diagnosis: It is based on cytopathology and neoplastic markers. To asses the neoplastic burden, both the amount of pericardial effusion and the presence and size of pericardial masses should be taken into account. Therapy: It may simply limit symptoms by pericardial drainage. To cure pericardial metastases systemic and/or local chemotherapy is necessary. In solid tumors, combined chemotherapy seems to be more effective. In case of relapsing effusion, radiation therapy or pericardial window may be necessary. Conclusions: Neoplastic pericarditis requires a targeted diagnostic and therapeutic approach. Echocardiography is of utmost importance in diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Echography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Cardiac metastases
  • Chemotherapy
  • Heart tumors
  • Neoplastic pericarditis
  • Pericardial effusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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