Retrospective evaluation of pericardial catheter placement
A study evaluated records from eighteen client-owned dogs that had pericardial catheters placed for pericardial fluid drainage between May 2007 and January 2015. All were placed within 5 hours of presentation, usually within 1 hour. Ten of 18 cases were sedated with butorphanol, and 4 with additional midazolam. Four had pericardial catheters positioned for single drainage only and were immediately removed. The other 14 pericardial catheters remained in situ for a median of 18 hours. Ten of the remaining 14 cases were redrained after pericardial catheter placement.
Although there were no reports of infectious or functional complications, new arrhythmias were noted in 6/18 cases, with 4 of these 6 patients being administered anti-arrhythmic therapy.
Ten patients were discharged, 1 died and 7 were euthanized.
The study suggests that thoracic drainage catheters inserted into the pericardial space via a modified-Seldinger technique can be positioned in dogs to aid management of PEs. Their use is associated with a rate of arrhythmia requiring treatment of 22%, compared to that of needle pericardiocentesis alone at 13%.
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