Ultrasound-guided diagnostic pericardiocentesis in preterm infants: a case report

Angela Paladini*, Vito D'Andrea, Anthea Bottoni, Velia Purcaro, Giorgia Prontera, Simonetta Costa, Giovanni Vento

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pericardial effusion (PE) in pediatric population can be asymptomatic or a life-threatening event. Reports on neonates or preterm infants are scarce and generally related to pericardiocentesis of large amounts of PE in emergency situations. We describe a diagnostic pericardiocentesis in a preterm infant with small and loculated pericardial effusion and suspected cardiac mass. We used an ultrasound-guided long-axis in-plane pericardiocentesis technique, with a needle-cannula. The operator obtained a subxiphoid pericardial effusion view with a high frequency linear probe and entered the skin below the tip of the xiphoid process with a 20-gauge closed IV needle-cannula (ViaValve (R)). The needle was identified in its entirety as it courses through soft tissue up to pericardial sac. The main advantages of this approach are a continuous viewing and angulation of the needle through all planes of the tissue and the use of a small, practical, closed IV needle-cannula with blood control septum to prevent fluid exposure while disconnecting the syringe. This novel approach is easy and safe in neonatal population, for diagnostic or emergency drainages and can be performed at bedside in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis
  • linear probe
  • preterm ultrasound
  • pericardial effusion
  • needle-cannula


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