BMC Cardiovascular Disorders | 2021
Coronary artery perforation secondary to lifesaving pericardiocentesis for cardiac tamponade: a case report
Background Pericardiocentesis is frequently performed when fluid needs to be removed from the pericardial sac, for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, however, it can still be a high-risk procedure in inexperienced hands and/or an emergent setting. Case presentation A 78-year-old male made an emergency call complaining of the back pain. When the ambulance crew arrived at his home, he was in a state of shock due to cardiac tamponade diagnosed by portable echocardiography. The pericardiocentesis was performed using a puncture needle on site, and the patient was immediately transferred to our hospital by helicopter. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography showed a small protrusion of contrast media on the inferior wall of the left ventricle, suggesting cardiac rupture due to acute myocardial infarction. Emergency coronary angiography was then performed, which confirmed occlusion of the posterior descending branch of the left circumflex coronary artery. In addition, extravasation of contrast medium due to coronary artery perforation was observed in the acute marginal branch of the right coronary artery. We considered that coronary artery perforation had occurred as a complication of the pericardial puncture. We therefore performed transcatheter coil embolization of the perforated branch, and angiography confirmed immediate vessel sealing and hemostasis. After the procedure, the patient made steady progress without a further increase in pericardial effusion, and was discharged on the 50th day after admission. Conclusions When performing pericardial drainage, it is important that the physician recognizes the correct procedure and complications of pericardiocentesis, and endeavors to minimize the occurrence of serious complications. As with the patient presented, coil embolization is an effective treatment for distal coronary artery perforation caused by pericardiocentesis.