What cause fluid around the heart?

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My husband is 70 yrs . His legs were swelling up to his hips B4 be would ho

2 Answers

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The causes of pericardial effusion include:

  • viral, bacterial, fungal, or, in rare cases, parasitic infection
  • rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases
  • kidney failure that leads to waste products in the blood
  • metastasized cancer
  • heart surgery
  • some medications, such as minoxidil, penicillin, and methysergide
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • wounds near the heart
  • underactive thyroid
  • inflammation of organs
  • tuberculosis, which is more likely to be a factor in developing countries

Scientists have found that in 60% of cases, the buildup of fluid around the heart is linked to a known disease. 

Studies have shown that 21% of people with a cancer diagnosis develop pericardial effusion. The cancers most frequently associated with this kind of fluid buildup are lung cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia.

Fluid around the heart is medically called pericardial effusion, which can be caused by at least a dozen conditions. Given that his legs are also swelling, he definitely needs to see a cardiologist to help him find the underlying cause. 

Causes of pericardial effusion may include:

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Cancer of the heart or pericardium
  • Spread of cancer (metastasis), particularly lung cancer, breast cancer or Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Radiation therapy for cancer if the heart was in the area of the radiation
  • Chest trauma
  • Inflammation of the pericardium following a heart attack or after heart surgery or a procedure where the heart's lining is injured
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Use of certain drugs or exposure to toxins
  • Viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections
  • Waste products in the blood due to kidney failure (uremia)