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Cardiac tamponade is pressure on the heart that occurs when blood or fluid builds up in the space between the heart muscle (myocardium) and the outer covering sac of the heart (pericardium).
In this condition, blood or fluid collects in the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart. This prevents the heart ventricles from expanding fully. The excess pressure from the fluid prevents the heart from working properly. As a result, the body does not get enough blood.
Cardiac tamponade can occur due to:
Dissecting aortic aneurysm (thoracic)
End-stage lung cancer
Heart attack (acute MI)
Pericarditis caused by bacterial or viral infections
Wounds to the heart