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1. surgical use of a tampon.
2. pathologic compression of a part.
cardiac tamponade compression of the heart due to collection of fluid or blood in the pericardium. It may be either chronic or acute. Chronic cardiac tamponade occurs when fluid slowly enters the pericardial sac, allowing time for the membrane's expansion to accommodate the fluid, which can be as much as 1 liter. This gradual filling may or may not produce changes in cardiac hemodynamics. However, if there is rapid filling of the pericardial sac, as little as 200 ml can precipitate a life-threatening emergency. The ultimate effect of cardiac tamponade is reduced cardiac output and inadequate tissue perfusion.

Causes of acute cardiac tamponade include pericarditis with effusion of serosanguineous fluid into the sac, and either surgical or accidental trauma with leakage of blood into the sac. Occasionally, anticoagulant therapy can lead to extensive bleeding around the heart and cardiac tamponade.

Excessive fluid within the pericardial sac causes pressure against the cardiac structures, interferes with ventricular and atrial filling, and compromises blood supply to the myocardium via the coronary vessels. These conditions occur because of the following events: The compressed atria cannot fill as they normally would and so less blood is available for the ventricles; thus preload (the volume of blood in the ventricles at the end of diastole) is reduced. Ventricular filling is further impaired by compression of the ventricles. As pressure within the ventricles rises because of tamponade, pressure differences between the atria and ventricles are reduced, causing the valves between the two chambers to close before the ventricles have had time to fill completely. Increasing pressure within the heart chambers and in the pericardium impinges on the coronary arteries and veins, reducing blood supply to the myocardium, slowing contractility, and further reducing cardiac output.

Clinical features of cardiac tamponade include increased central venous pressure, falling arterial blood pressure, tachycardia, faint or muffled heart sounds, a narrowing pulse pressure, and an exaggerated inspiratory fall in systolic blood pressure (pulsus paradoxus). Hypoxia of cerebral tissues can produce confusion, restlessness, agitation, panic, and a sense of impending doom. Peripheral hypoxia is signaled by changes in the color, temperature, and excessive sweating.

Diagnosis can be confirmed by echocardiography and other radiologic studies. However, if the situation is acute, these tests cannot be done without endangering the life of the patient; thus diagnosis must be based on clinical findings. Once tamponade is suspected, fluids are administered and a pericardiocentesis is done to remove the compressing fluid.
Pericardiocentesis is performed to remove compressing fluid in cardiac tamponade. From Polaski and Tatro, 1996.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


, tamponage (tam'pŏ-nād', tam'pŏ-nij), Avoid the mispronunciation tam-pō-nahd'.
1. Pathologic compression of an organ.
2. Synonym(s): tamponing
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Cardiology See Balloon tamponade Medtalk A pathologic plugging of an organ–eg, cardiac tamponade, caused by massive accumulation of pericardial fluid, resulting in a mechanical limitation of organ function. See Cardiac tamponade.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


, tamponage (tam'pŏ-nād', -nazh')
1. Pathologic compression of a joint.
2. The insertion of a tampon.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


, tamponage (tam?po-nad') (tam'po-noj) [Fr., tampon, rag (used as a) plug]
1. The act of using a tampon. Synonym: tamponing; tamponment
2. The pathological or intentional compression of a part.

balloon tamponade

The application of pressure against a part of the body with an inflatable balloon, typically to stop blood loss. Balloon tamponade has been used to stop bleeding from esophageal varices, ectopic pregnancies, the post-partum uterus, the liver (as after gunshot wounds), damaged blood vessels.

cardiac tamponade

A life-threatening condition in which elevated pressures within the pericardium impair the filling of the heart during diastole.

Cardiac tamponade may result from injuries to the heart or great vessels, from cardiac rupture, or from other conditions that produce large pericardial effusions. If fluid accumulates rapidly, as little as 150 mL can impair the filling of the heart. Slow accumulation, as in pericardial effusion associated with cancer, may not produce immediate signs and symptoms because the fibrous wall of the pericardial sac can gradually stretch to accommodate as much as 1 to 2 L of fluid.


Cardiac tamponade may be idiopathic (Dressler syndrome) or may result from any of the following causes: effusion (in cancer, bacterial infections, tuberculosis, and, rarely, acute rheumatic fever); hemorrhage from trauma (as from gunshot or stab wounds of the chest, perforation by catheter during cardiac or central venous catheterization, or after cardiac surgery); hemorrhage from nontraumatic causes (as from rupture of the heart or great vessels, or anticoagulant therapy in a patient with pericarditis); viral, postirradiation, or idiopathic pericarditis; acute myocardial infarction; chronic renal failure; drug reaction (as from procainamide, hydralazine, minoxidil, isoniazid, penicillin, methysergide, or daunorubicin); or connective tissue disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatic fever, vasculitis, and scleroderma). Classic signs of tamponade include persistent hypotension despite fluid bolusing, muffled heart sounds, distended jugular veins, and pulsus paradoxus (a drop in systolic blood pressure of more than 10 mm Hg on inspiration).


Cardiac tamponade is suggested by chest radiograph (slightly widened mediastinum and enlargement of the cardiac silhouette), ECG (reduced QRS amplitude, electrical alternans of the P wave, QRS complex, and T wave and generalized ST-segment elevation), and pulmonary artery pressure monitoring (increased right atrial pressure, right ventricular diastolic pressure, and central venous pressure). It is definitively diagnosed with echocardiography, or MRI or CT of the chest.


Pericardiocentesis (needle aspiration of the pericardial cavity) or surgical creation of a pericardial window dramatically improves systemic arterial pressure and cardiac output. In patients with malignant tamponade, a balloon pericardiotomy (a balloon-aided opening in the pericardium) may be made.

Patient care

The patient is assessed for a history of disorders that can cause tamponade and for symptoms such as chest pain and dyspnea. Oxygen is administered via nonrebreather mask, and intravenous access is established via one or two large-bore catheters for fluid resuscitation. Airway, breathing, circulation, and level of consciousness are closely monitored.

If the patient is unstable, he or she requires arterial blood gas analysis and hemodynamic monitoring and support. Prescribed inotropic drugs and intravenous solutions maintain the patient's blood pressure, and oxygen and ventilatory support are administered as necessary and prescribed.

Pain is assessed, and appropriate analgesia is provided. The patient is prepared for central line insertion, pericardiocentesis, thoracotomy, or other therapeutic measures as indicated; brief explanations of procedures and expected sensations are provided; and the patient is reassured to decrease anxiety. The patient is observed for a decrease in central venous pressure and a concomitant rise in blood pressure after treatment, which indicate relief of cardiac compression. If the patient is not acutely ill, he or she is educated about the condition, including its cause and its planned treatment, e.g., by surgery to place a pericardial window. The importance of immediately reporting worsening symptoms is stressed. The patient is followed with repeat echocardiography and chest x-rays as deemed necessary.

Synonym: pericardial tamponade

nasal balloon tamponade

See: nosebleed for illus.; epistaxis

nasal tamponade

Compression of nasal blood vessels to stop bleeding.
See: epistaxis; nosebleed for illus
Enlarge picture

pericardial tamponade

Cardiac tamponade. See: illustration
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


Obstruction to the blood flow to or through and organ by external pressure. The term is applied most commonly to compression of the heart, usually from a collection of fluid in the pericardial sac, as in PERICARDITIS or cardiac injury. This prevents normal heart filling and leads to breathlessness and sometimes collapse from reduced heart output. Fluid can be withdrawn through a needle.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


, tamponage (tam'pŏ-nād', -nazh')
1. Pathologic compression of an organ.
2. Act of inserting a tampon.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Apart from the tamponade type, the duration of facedown posturing is also dependent on the MH itself.
Ezra, "Vitrectomy, inner limiting membrane peel, and gas tamponade in the management of traumatic paediatric macular holes: a case series of 13 patients," Ophthalmologica, vol.
The other patient under-went operation after ruling out the cardiac tamponade and response to resuscitation in a control way.
Other than the patient who died due to hypovolemic shock all the patients presented with cardiac tamponade findings.
Herein, we review our case results with room air tamponade and compare them with previous results using heterogeneous gas tamponade.
The medical records of consecutive patients that underwent vitrectomy and gas tamponade for primary RRD between January 2013 and December 2015 were reviewed.
Surgeons have a choice of many tamponades for use with MIVS, each with advantages over the surgical complications associated with 20G vitrectomy, enabling selection appropriate to the underlying disease [45].
Another option is planning a staged surgery--an initial surgery to repair the retinal detachment in which tamponade is achieved with perfluorocarbon liquid and left for 2 to 3 weeks, followed by a second procedure in which it is removed.
Canut, "Treatment of retinal detachment secondary to macular hole in high myopia: vitrectomy with dissection of the inner limiting membrane to the edge of the staphyloma and long-term tamponade," Retina, vol.
23G vitrectomy was found safe procedure with minimal changes in dioptric power of cornea when no tamponade was used.
In our research work we have used SF6 which is a short acting gas tamponade and observed hole closure even in medium to large size full thickness macular hole(FTMH) without specific head posturing so this gives confidence to a surgeon to use short acting gas like SF6 in medium to large FTMH.
The intracranial gas gradually resolved spontaneously and so did the mental status changes; however, the vision was lost due to altered tamponade properties.