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What is Dressler syndrome ?

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   1 min     


A secondary form of pericarditis that occurs in the setting of injury to the heart or the pericardium which is (the outer lining of the heart, is called Dressler syndrome. It consists of pleuritic pain, fever, pericarditis and/or a pericardial effusion.

Dressler syndrome is also called as post myocardial infarction syndrome and the word is occasionally used to mention post-pericardiotomy pericarditis.

It was first identified by William Dressler at Maimonides Medical Center in 1956.

It should not be perplexed with the Dressler's syndrome of hemoglobinuria named for Lucas Dressler, who identified it in 1854.


Dressler syndrome occurs in about seven percent of myocardial infarctions, and composes of a pericarditis (usually evidenced by a pericardial friction rub), constant low-grade fever, and/or a pericardial effusion. The symptoms tend to occur two -three weeks after myocardial infarction, but can also be detained for a few months. It tends to lessen in a few days, and very seldom leads to pericardial tamponade. A raised ESR is an objective laboratory finding.


It is believed to be an outcome from an autoimmune inflammatory reaction to myocardial neo-antigens established as an outcome of the MI. A similar pericarditis can be related with any trauma to the pericardium, pericardiotomy or heart surgery.

Differential diagnosis

Pulmonary embolism, another perceptible cause of pleuritic and non-pleuritic chest pain in individuals who have experienced surgical methods and/ or been hospitalized within the previous weeks needs to be discriminated from Dressler syndrome.


Dressler syndrome is best treated with high dose of certain medications. In some impervious cases, corticosteroids can be used but are avoided or not preferred in 1st month due to the high frequency of damaged ventricular healing leading to intensified rate of ventricular rupture.

Tags:  Heart diseases,

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Aman Siddiqui
Aman Siddiqui |  November 4th, 2017

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