Cardiac tamponade causes include: Blunt trauma, such as a fall or a car crash. Penetrating trauma, like a stab wound from a knife. Aortic dissection. Advanced cancer. Heart attack. Tuberculosis (TB). Inflammation or infection of the pericardium. Chronic immune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. Heart cancer. Heart or kidney failure. Hypothyroidism. In some cases, cardiac tamponade can also happen after a medical procedure. Some of these include: Surgery on your heart or near the pericardium. Catheter-based procedures that involve your heart or surrounding blood vessels. Placement of a device like a pacemaker. Radiation therapy near your heart or pericardium.