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An unusual cause of pericardial effusion

Lamkin, Christina PA-C; Hamner, Lawrence R. III MD

Journal of the American Academy of PAs: September 2016 - Volume 29 - Issue 9 - p 32–34
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000488692.50552.71
Case Report

ABSTRACT A patient who presented with chest pain, shortness of breath, and a purulent pericardial effusion became hemodynamically unstable after recurrent accumulation of fluid in the pericardial sac despite treatment. Surgical exploration revealed an aortic ulcer created by an ingested porcupine quill that perforated the esophagus. Sharp foreign body ingestion is extremely rare but poses devastating complications, and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with otherwise unexplained chest pain.

Christina Lamkin and Lawrence R. Hamner practice at South Texas Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgical Associates in San Antonio, Tex. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Physician Assistants
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