9 Major Causes of Fluid Around The Heart

January 30, 2023
5 min read

Did you know your heart is cocooned in a thin sac-like structure? It’s known as the Pericardium, and it has a membrane covering that helps to keep your heart safe. Usually, there’s a tiny amount of fluid that keeps the membrane from touching the heart. However, some severe health disorders can cause excess fluid to gather around the heart, leading to a condition called Pericardial Effusion.

What Is Pericardial Effusion?

Known to be a serious heart condition, pericardial effusion is when a significant amount of fluid builds up around your heart, inside the pericardium layer.Despite constantly being surrounded by fluid, your heart can suffer a great deal when submerged in too much fluid.When proper attention is not paid, the fluid can exceed the limit and cause pressure on your heart. This can further lead to a life-threatening heart condition known as cardiac tamponade.But as long as you take proper care and treatment, pericardial effusion can easily be managed.

What Causes Fluid Around The Heart?

There can be multiple factors that can cause fluid buildup around the heart. However, in most cases, pericardial effusion results from the inflammation of the Pericardium.Although since it is not limited to a certain disorder, it can also arise from the following conditions:

  1. Viral or Bacterial InfectionsDue to fungal, bacterial, and parasite infections, your heart health can suffer a great deal, leading to an overabundance of fluid near the heart.
  2. HIVAn immunodeficiency virus like HIV is one of the many reasons behind pericardial effusion.
  3. CancerSpecifically, heart or pericardium cancer can disrupt the flow and maintenance of your cardiovascular system.
  4. Autoimmune DiseaseRheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, etc., might lead to the excess fluid surrounding your heart.
  5. ThyroidAn imbalance in your hormones, such as underactive thyroid, can be a major reason why fluid might gather around the heart.
  6. Heart DiseaseWhen your heart’s lining gets injured due to a heart attack or a failed heart surgery, it can mess up the internal pericardium system.
  7. Chest TraumaSudden injuries or trauma to your chest area, specifically between the neck and stomach, can damage your chest walls, resulting in excess fluid buildup.
  8. Kidney DiseaseA failing kidney with uremia or waste products in the blood could make it hard for your heart to pump blood properly.
  9. Certain DrugsMisusing drugs or being exposed to certain toxins can have a hazardous impact on your heart.

How To Get Rid of Fluid Around The Heart

Even though pericardial effusion is curable, it needs to be properly evaluated by a healthcare professional. There is no way to naturally let the fluid drain, as it needs to be done so via surgery.Moreover, treatment primarily depends on your age and overall health condition. If seen fit, your doctor would either prescribe your NSAIDs or schedule you for open-heart surgery.

Closing Word

All in all, there are numerous causes behind fluid buildup around the heart. Usually, a strong or sudden trauma to the chest can result in deadly circumstances.Nevertheless, to avoid a serious situation and to make sure your cardiovascular health is flourishing, make sure to frequently get yourself tested.For more information, feel free to contact NorthWest Cardiovascular Clinic at (281) 807-5253. You can find us at 18220 TX-249 Suite #230, Houston, TX 77070, opposite the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, for an in-office visit.

Take the next step towards a healthy heart

Request an appointment by clicking the button below or call our office staff at (281) 807-5253

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