Pericardial Tamponade and Berger's Disease: An Unusual Association.

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Cardiac tamponade is considered a medical emergency because a patient can deteriorate easily and die of cardiac arrest if the fluid is not drained immediately. The most common etiologies are the same as pericarditis as fluid accumulates due to pericardial inflammation, including infection, malignancy, trauma, iatrogenic, autoimmune, post-myocardial infarction, radiation, and renal failure. Although the treatment is pericardiocentesis or pericardial window, finding the etiology responsible for the development of pericardial effusion is important. Here, we describe the case of a 40-year-old female who presented to the emergency department with a chief complaint of severe epigastric pain of a two-day duration that was associated with multiple episodes of nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, and severe shortness of breath (New York Heart Association III). The patient was eventually diagnosed with cardiac tamponade as a cause of her dyspnea, as a two-dimensional cardiac echocardiogram detected a large pericardial effusion (>2 cm) with echocardiographic indications for cardiac tamponade with severe pulmonary hypertension. The patient underwent a therapeutic pericardial window with drainage of 250 mL of pericardial fluid. Ultrasound of the abdomen focusing on the kidneys showed an atrophic and echogenic right kidney with a bidirectional flow in the hepatic veins, suggestive of right heart failure. Subsequently, she underwent a kidney biopsy that showed diffuse mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis with segmental sclerosing features consistent with IgA nephropathy, associated with tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, interstitial inflammation, and moderate arteriosclerosis. The patient was diagnosed with stage V chronic kidney disease secondary to IgA nephropathy. IgA nephropathy is usually common in Caucasian or Asian males in their teens and late 30s, with hematuria as a usual presentation. This case is unique as cardiac tamponade with renal failure is rarely the presenting symptom of IgA nephropathy.

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