Associazione Italiana Veterinari Piccoli Animali
Affiliata WSAVA


“Pericardial patch” come trattamento palliativo per i tumori cardiaci non resecabili in tre cani

Pericardial patch for unresectable cardiac tumors in three dogs


Collivignarelli F., Med. Vet., Ms1,2
Giustino S., Med. Vet.1
Valentini F., Med. Vet., Ms3.
Policlinico Veterinario Roma Sud. 2. Futuravet 3. Oncovet


Cardiac tumors are uncommon in the canine and feline population and often an incidental finding. These neoplasms can cause mild to severe, life threatening clinical signs that are independent of the histological type and may be related to altered cardiovascular function or local haemorrhage/ effusion into pericardial space. The aim of this report is to describe a pericardial patch for unresectable cardiac tumors as a palliative technique to prevent pleural effusion.

Three dogs affected by unresectable tumors had a pericardial patch with no pleural effusion until their death. Clinical signs for the three dogs were exercise intolerance, lethargy, jugular venous distension, weight loss and on physical examination were present muffled heart sounds. Cardiologic examination with thoracic radiographs (fig.1, fig. 2) had a suspicion of cardiac tumors or pericardial effusion. No lung metastases. Ecocardiography identified two dog with right atrial mass (fig.3) and one with body aortic mass. After full staging consisting of blood work, urine examination, total body TC, a pericardial patch was performed. Subtotal pericardiectomy was performed through a right thoracotomy and a pericardial patch on the mass (fig.4) was done. 

Closure of chest as usual. To the surgery followed chemotherapy with doxorubicin. The hystopatology was hemangiosarcoma for the first two and the last for chemodectoma.

There were no major intraoperative complications. No pleural effusion was seen in the three dogs until their death. Pericardial patch for unresectable cardiac tumors is a potential choice as a palliative treatment. No pleural effusion was seen in these dogs.


pleural effusion, pericardiectomy ,hemangiosarcoma, chemodectoma, pericadial patch