Widening of the subcarinal angle by pericardial effusion.


Journal Article

The subcarinal angle and transverse diameter of the cardiopericardial silhouette were measured on inspiratory posteroanterior radiographs of 54 patients (average age, 43.1 years) with pericardial effusion. The subcarinal angle was significantly greater (p less than 0.001) during effusion (81.0 degrees, n = 54) than either before (62.3 degrees, n = 14) or after (56.7 degrees, n = 21) effusion. A significant (p less than 0.05) positive correlation (r = 0.60, n = 118) was found between the magnitude of the subcarinal angle and the transverse diameter. This suggested that pericardial fluid accumulation displaces the heart and, in turn, splays the main bronchi. When pericardial fluid is not suspected clinically, a widened subcarinal angle, without other evidence of left atrial enlargement, may be a clue suggesting pericardial effusion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, JT; Putman, CE; Hedlund, LW; Dahmash, NS; Roberts, L

Published Date

  • November 1, 1982

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 139 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 883 - 887

PubMed ID

  • 6981970

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6981970

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0361-803X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2214/ajr.139.5.883


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States