Massive pericardial effusion with diastolic right ventricular compression secondary to hypothyroidism in a 73-year-old woman


  • Chung-Yueh Hsieh, MD, Attending Physician; Bing-Yi Liu, MD, Director; Yung-Nien Yang, MD, Attending Physician; Wei-Hsian Yin, PhD, Director ; Mason-Shing Young, MD, Vice President.

Dr Yung-Nien Yang, Division of Cardiology, Cheng-Hsin Rehabilitation Medical Center, no. 45, Cheng-Hsin street, Pei-Tou, Taipei 112, Taiwan. Tel. (+886) 2 2826 4400 ext. 2040; Fax (+886) 2 2826 1242; Email: or


Pericardial effusion is commonly seen in patients with hypothyroidism, but a massive pericardial effusion with obvious diastolic right ventricular compression is uncommon. We herein report a case of 73-year-old woman seen in the ED with generalized weakness and hypotension. Echocardiography revealed a massive pericardial effusion with diastolic right ventricular compression, and thyroid function testing revealed marked hypothyroidism. The pericardial effusion resolved after the administration of thyroid replacement therapy. This case reveals the importance of including hypothyroidism in the differential diagnosis of pericardia effusion.