Echocardiography is a simple, accurate, and noninvasive technique for the study of the pericardium. Twenty-one normal pregnant women in their third trimester were examined with the Smith-Kline Ekoline 20 Ultrasonoscope. Twelve (57.1%) had normal echocardiography, and nine (42.9%) had pericardial effusion: four mild, three moderate, and two large in amount. There was no correlation between the amount of pericardial effusion and the red blood cell and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin level, total serum protein, serum albumin level, or albumin/globulin ratio. One patient with moderate effusion was followed for 50 days after delivery, by which time the effusion had resolved completely.
© 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists