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Hemopericardium 001.jpg
Hemopericardium: Gross, an excellent in situ view.
Image courtesy of Professor Peter Anderson DVM PhD and published with permission © PEIR, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology
ICD-10 I23.0, I31.2, S26.0
ICD-9 423.0, 860.2

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]


Hemopericardium refers to blood in the pericardial sac of the heart. It is a cause of pericardial effusion, and can also cause cardiac tamponade.[1]

The condition can be caused by trauma,[2] but it has also been observed in patients on anticoagulant therapy.[3][4]

Pathological Findings

Images courtesy of Professor Peter Anderson DVM PhD and published with permission © PEIR, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology

Hemopericardium: Gross, an excellent in situ view

Hemopericardium: Gross, in situ, unopened pericardium (a very good example)

Hemopericardium: Gross, natural color, heart in situ with opened pericardium and filled with red blood clot (quite good example) dissecting aneurysm

Hemopericardium due to Needle Puncture: Gross, natural color, external view of heart covered by blood

Needle Puncture Mark in Epicardium: Gross, natural color, close-up of needle puncture marks tap resulted in hemopericardium

Hemopericardium: Hemopericardium caused by pericardiocentesis: Gross, natural color, close-up view of apex of the heart. Needle apparently entered the distal posterior descending artery.

Hemopericardium: Hemopericardium caused by pericardiocentesis: Gross, natural color, view of apex of the heart. Needle apparently entered the distal posterior descending artery

Hemopericardium: Hemopericardium due to pericardiocentesis: Gross, fixed tissue, close-up view of slice through distal posterior descending artery showing periarterial hemorrhage

Hemopericardium: Liver: Gross, natural color, typical shock liver case of death due to hemopericardium secondary to pericardiocentesis

Hemopericardium in newborn: Gross, natural color, opened body with large collection blood in pericardial sac. Cause uncertain. A 26 week premature with hyaline membrane disease and DIC

Hemopericardium: Myocardial Infarction and Ventricular Rupture

Hemopericardium: Infarct rupture after 7 days of chest pain onset.

Hemopericardium in dissecting aneurysm: Gross, heart with root of aorta to show hemorrhage into pericardium (very good example)


  1. Forensic Pathology.
  2. Krejci CS, Blackmore CC, Nathens A (July 2000). "Hemopericardium: an emergent finding in a case of blunt cardiac injury". AJR Am J Roentgenol 175 (1): 250. PMID 10882282.
  3. Katis PG (May 2005). "Atraumatic hemopericardium in a patient receiving warfarin therapy for a pulmonary embolus". CJEM 7 (3): 168–70. PMID 17355673.
  4. Hong YC, Chen YG, Hsiao CT, Kuan JT, Chiu TF, Chen JC (September 2007). "Cardiac tamponade secondary to haemopericardium in a patient on warfarin". Emerg Med J 24 (9): 679–80. doi:10.1136/emj.2007.049643. PMID 17711963.

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