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Dressler's syndrome

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Dressler's syndrome is a pericarditis that develops 2 to 10 weeks after a myocardial infarction or heart surgery.

The inflammatory response is believed to be the result of an autoimmune reaction to myocardial neo-antigens.

One in five patients with a myocardial infarction will suffer recurrence of chest pain within a few days, most commonly after an anterior infarction.

A diagnosis of acute post-MI pericarditis is suggested by:

  • a low grade fever
  • chest pain
  • a pericardial friction rub
  • rarely, the pericardial effusion may cause cardiac tamponade

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