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The Prognostic Impact of Pericardial Fluid Cytology in Malignant Pericardial Effusion

Anatol J Cardiol. 2023 Jan;27(1):41-46. doi: 10.14744/AnatolJCardiol.2022.2050.


OBJECTIVE: Malignant pericardial effusion may affect almost 15 of the patients with underlying malignancies which deteriorates the prognosis. The prognostic significance of pericardial fluid cytology is under-represented in previous studies.

METHODS: A total of 73 patients with symptomatic pericardial effusion treated with pericardiocentesis were included in this retrospective analysis. Macroscopic appearance, biochemical features, and cytological findings were obtained. Patients were divided into 3 groups: (i) without malignancy, (ii) with malignancy and negative cytology, and (iii) with malignancy and positive cytology. Survival data were searched via governmental death notification system.

RESULTS: Mean age of the study group was 62 ± 15, and 54% (40) of the patients were female. On the cytological evaluation, 17 patients (23.3%) revealed positive cancer cytology, whereas 56 patients (76.7%) revealed negative cancer cytology. The median follow-up period was 840 days, and 34 patients (46.5%) died during follow-up. The survival rate of Group 3 was found to be significantly worse compared to Groups 1 and 2, no statistical difference was found between Groups 1 and 2 in terms of survival (Group 1 vs. Group 2 P =.078; Group 1 vs. Group 3 P <.001; Group 2 vs. Group 3 P =.041).

CONCLUSION: Cytological evaluation is an important step in patients with malignant pericardial effusion. Positive pericardial fluid cytology indicates a poorer prognosis.

PMID:36680446 | DOI:10.14744/AnatolJCardiol.2022.2050

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