BACKGROUND--Conservative treatment of malignant pericardial effusion by intrapericardial instillation of a sclerosing agent may be an alternative to surgery. METHODS--Twenty patients with malignant pericardial effusion were treated by ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis and the intrapericardial instillation of mitomycin C. RESULTS--Mitomycin C was effective in controlling the pericardial effusion in 70% of patients without causing side effects, except for pericardial constriction seven months later in one subject. CONCLUSIONS--Ultrasound guided intrapericardial instillation of mitomycin C is a suitable alternative in the management of malignant pericardial effusion.
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