Pericardial cysts are rare. They are usually diagnosed as an incidental finding on a chest X-ray or CT scan done for some other reason. Only if it large enough to cause compressive symptoms on the heart do they need therapy. However, follow up is indicated to monitor changes in size. A symptomatic cyst can usually be treated by a needle passed through the chest wall with ultrasound or CT guidance to drain it. Ethanol is sometimes injected in the drained space to keep the cyst from recurring.
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