Mild Pericardial Effusion

#3791 – Male, 75 y., mild chronic pericardial effusion (diffuse) in coronary artery disease. Apical 4-chamber view centered on the right side. Note two rapid inward motions of the lateral right atrial wall at ventricular end-diastole and end-systole.

Figure below (anatomical M-mode of the right atrial lateral wall):

A. inward motion of right atrial wall secondary to atrial contraction (follows ECG P wave).

B. right atrial wall early systolic inward motion (passive collapse) secondary to mild increase in pericardial pressure, which exceeds right atrial pressure at “x” pressure nadir (of the right atrial pressure wave).

M-mode sequence of right atrial contraction and collapse

M-mode sequence of right atrial contraction and collapse

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