Spontaneous cardiac tamponade associated with dabigatran use in an elderly woman
We report here a rare case of dabigatran-related spontaneous cardiac tamponade, which appeared in absence of the known risk factors that predispose the patient to bleed related to anticoagulant drugs. A 65-year-old lady presented to the emergency room with sudden onset dyspnea which woke her up in the early morning hours. Four days earlier, she had been started on dabigatran therapy for DVT. On examination, she was in shock. Transthoracic echocardiography confirmed cardiac tamponade. Emergent pericardiocentesis was done, draining 480 ml of haemorrhagic fluid, which tested negative for microbes and malignant cells. The patient recovered rapidly and fluid did not re-accumulate after withdrawal of dabigatran therapy. Spontaneous cardiac tamponade is rare with the use of direct anticoagulants, especially dabigatran, in the absence of predisposing risk factors. This case study highlights the need for clinicians to be cognizant of this potentially life-threatening adverse drug reaction of dabigatran so that appropriate timely action can be taken toward diagnosis and management of this complication.
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