Early fatal cardiac tamponade without cardiomegaly following umbilical vein catheterization in an extremly low birthweight infant

Abstract. Umbilical venous catheters are commonly used for establishing central venous access during the first 10 days of life. Despite their routine use, they are frequently malpositioned and may occasionally be associated with serious complications. We report a rare case of an extremely low birthweight infant who developed severe and fatal pericardial effusion following umbilical venous catheterization. Chest radiography showed no cardiomegaly; bedside ultrasonography established the diagnosis and was used to guide pericardiocentesis. 

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Fayez Bany-Mohammed, Department of Pediatrics/Division of Neonatology, UCI Medical Center, 101 The City Drive South, Building #56, Suite 600, Orange, CA 92868, USA. Tel.: +1 714 4566933; Fax: +1 714 456 7658; E-mail: fbanymoh@uci.edu.