Acute cardiac tamponade is a medical emergency that requires urgent therapy. Removal of pericardial fluid by pericardiocentesis or by open surgical drainage is effective,1 2 3 but delays may occur while the catheterization laboratory or operating room is being prepared. Alternative methods would be useful as interim therapy, if they were also effective. The time-honored emergency therapy for acute cardiac tamponade is intravascular volume expansion.1,2,4 5 6 Vasodilator drugs have also been recommended, especially in combination with volume expansion.7,8 These recommendations are, however, based on studies in animals.7 8 9 10 11 There is a surprising paucity of relevant data on human beings, and this may be important.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes