No compression of cardiac cavities in transthoracic ultrasound does not exclude cardiac tamponade
The clinical presentation of cardiac tamponade is difficult to distinguish from other causes of shock. Pericardial fluid is easy to visualize with cardiac ultrasound and a key sign of overt cardiac tamponade is the compression of right side cavities. We present two cases in which cardiac tamponade was present, but where compression of cardiac cavities could not be demonstrated with transthoracic cardiac ultrasound. This emphasizes that cardiac tamponade is still a clinical diagnosis.