What is a hole in the heart?

Your heart has four chambers, co-ordinated together to pump and receive blood from the body and the lungs. Connections between these chambers are colloquially referred to as ‘holes in the heart’ – sometimes normal, and sometimes not.

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What is a pericardial effusion?

A large pericardial effusion. In this image, the structure bouncing from left to right is the heart, with the large black space surrounding it made up of excess fluid (the pericardial effusion). A comparison with a normal echocardiogram is below.

A pericardial effusion means you have an excess of fluid around the heart, which can push on the heart itself and cause problems.

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