Pericardial effusion and pleural effusion

Images by Genevieve Carbonatto

Parasternal long axis, (PLAX) left ventricle showing a small circumferential pericardial effusion ending anteriorly to the descending thoracic aorta, (D.Th.A.).  The D.Th.A. is the anatomical landmark to differentiate between a pericardial and a pleural effusion.  The pericardial effusion is trivial anterior to the RV anterior wall. There is also a suggestion of a pleural effusion better seen on the following image, taken at increased depth.

 

Parasternal long axis, (PLAX) left ventricle showing a small circumferential pericardial effusion ending anteriorly to the descending thoracic aorta, (D.Th.A.) and a moderate left pleural effusion extending posterior to the (D.Th.A.).

Parasternal short axis, (PSAX) of the left ventricle (LV) at the apex showing both the pericardial and pleural effusions.  The pericardial effusion is trivial anterior and  laterally but slightly larger  inferiorly.

Apical off axis 4-chamber view to demonstrate the RA wall is not collapsing with a small pericardial effusion seen around the right heart.  There is a left pleural effusion antero-laterally to the LV apex.  A small section of consolidated lung can be seen moving in the pleural effusion.

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