Cardiac tamponade MRI

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Priyamvada Singh, M.D. [2] Ramyar Ghandriz MD[3]


Cardiovascular MRI is not commonly used for the diagnosis of cardiac tamponade as it is effectively diagnosed based on clinical features and echocardiography. Findings include Pericardial effusion, distension of the vena cavae and hepatic vein, collapse of the right sided cardiac chambers, interventricular septum shifts towards the left, paradoxical septal motion.


  • MRI has a limited role in the setting of cardiac tamponade due to the emergent and life-threatening nature of the disease.[1][2][3][4][5][6]
  • Cardiac tamponade is characterized by the diastolic collapse the right-sided chambers and sometimes the left-sided chambers on cine images.



  1. Restrepo, C. Santiago; Lemos, Diego F.; Lemos, Julio A.; Velasquez, Enrique; Diethelm, Lisa; Ovella, Ty A.; Martinez, Santiago; Carrillo, Jorge; Moncada, Rogelio; Klein, Jeffrey S. (2007). "Imaging Findings in Cardiac Tamponade with Emphasis on CT". RadioGraphics. 27 (6): 1595–1610. doi:10.1148/rg.276065002. ISSN 0271-5333.
  2. Aldweib N, Farah V, Biederman R (2018). "Clinical Utility of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Pericardial Diseases". Curr Cardiol Rev. 14 (3): 200–212. doi:10.2174/1573403X14666180619104515. PMC 6131401. PMID 29921208. Vancouver style error: initials (help)
  3. Xu B, Harb SC, Klein AL (March 2018). "Utility of multimodality cardiac imaging in disorders of the pericardium". Echo Res Pract. doi:10.1530/ERP-18-0019. PMC 5911773. PMID 29588309.
  4. Hoey ET, Shahid M, Watkin RW (June 2016). "Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of pericardial disease". Quant Imaging Med Surg. 6 (3): 274–84. doi:10.21037/qims.2016.01.03. PMC 4929280. PMID 27429911.
  5. Kaneda K, Yamamura H, Yamamoto T, Matsumoto K, Ehara S, Mizobata Y (January 2016). "Efficacy of cardiac magnetic resonance for the qualitative diagnosis of blunt cardiac injury". Acute Med Surg. 3 (1): 53–56. doi:10.1002/ams2.122. PMC 5667227. PMID 29123751.
  6. Ünal E, Karcaaltincaba M, Akpinar E, Ariyurek OM (March 2019). "The imaging appearances of various pericardial disorders". Insights Imaging. 10 (1): 42. doi:10.1186/s13244-019-0728-4. PMC 6441059. PMID 30927107.

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