Tumour – pericardial

Tumour – pericardial


Pericardial teratoma is a rare condition in the fetus. This cystic tumour can compress the heart and cause fetal hydrops depending on its site. It tends to be related to the right atrium. It is histologically benign but because of its size, it will usually lead to spontaneous intrauterine death. If the fetus survives to delivery, it may be possible to remove the tumour completely at surgery.


There is a multicystic mass, usually related to the right atrium, projecting into the pericardial cavity. There will be an associated pericardial effusion. The tumour may obstruct flow to the right side of the heart and cause fetal hydrops. The right heart may be underdeveloped as a result of restriction to blood flow.

Differential Diagnosis

There is no alternative diagnosis if a cystic mass in seen in the pericardial cavity. Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformations of the lung do not usually cause a pericardial effusion; they may displace the heart but will seldom cause flow obstruction.

Sonographic Features

Cystic mass in pericardial sac.

Pericardial effusion.

Cardiac displacement or local chamber compression.

May be fetal hydrops.

Associated Syndromes


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