Objective – To quantify the frequency of adverse events occurring during or post pericardiocentesis and to determine if adverse events are related to the cause of the pericardial effusion or frequency of pericardiocentesis.
Design – Retrospective study.
Setting – Referral hospital.
Animals, Intervention and Measurements – Medical records of 85 dogs that underwent 112 episodes of pericardiocentesis were reviewed. Any adverse events during pericardiocentesis and in the 48 hours post pericardiocentesis were noted. The frequency of adverse events was compared between dogs with a suspected neoplastic cause and a suspected nonneoplastic cause of their pericardial effusion and also between the first and subsequent pericardiocenteses.
Main Results – The incidence of adverse events was 10.7% within 1 hour of pericardiocentesis and 15.2% within 48 hours. There was no significant difference in the frequency of adverse events between the groups. Most adverse events identified were dysrhythmias. Forty-one percent of those dogs with adverse events were euthanized or died within 48 hours.
Conclusion – The incidence of adverse events seen within 48 hours of pericardiocentesis was 15.2%.