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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2012

Surgical properties and survival of a pericardial window via left minithoracotomy for benign and malignant pericardial tamponade in cancer patients

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Sezai Celik, Muharrem Celik, Bulent Aydemir, Handan Tanrıkulu, Tamer Okay, Nurşen Tanrikulu
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1477-7819-10-123) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Authors’ contribution

SC: design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, have given final approval of the version to be published. MC: have been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content, analysis of data, participated in the sequence alignment. BA: conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. HT: participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. TO: have made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data. NT: participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. Involved in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Surgical drainage is a rapid and effective treatment for pericardial tamponade in cancer patients. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of pericardial window formation via mini-thoracotomy for treating pericardial tamponade in cancer patients, and to evaluate clinical factors affecting long-term survival.


Records of 53 cancer patients with pericardial tamponade treated by pericardial window formation between 2002 and 2008 were examined. Five patients were excluded due to insufficient data. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis were used for analysis.


Forty-eight patients (64.7% male), with a mean age of 55.20 ± 12.97 years were included. Patients were followed up until the last control visit or death. There was no surgery-related mortality and the 30-day mortality rate was 8.33%; all died during postoperative hospitalization. Morbidity rate was 18.75%. Symptomatic recurrence rate was 2.08%. Cancer type and nature of the pericardial effusion were the major factors determining long-term survival (P <0.001 and P <0.004, respectively).
Overall median survival was 10.41 ± 1.79 months. One- and 2-year survival rates were 45 ± 7% and 18 ± 5%, respectively.


Pericardial window creation via minithoracotomy was proven to be a safe and effective approach in surgical treatment of pericardial tamponade in cancer patients. Cancer type and nature of pericardial effusion were the main factors affecting long-term survival.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
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