Dresslers syndrome (inflammation of heart sac)

Chest | Cardiology | Dresslers syndrome (inflammation of heart sac) (Disease)


Dresslers syndrome is a secondary form of pericarditis that occurs in the setting of injury to the heart or the pericardium (the outer lining of the heart). It consists of a triad of features, fever, pleuritic pain and pericardial effusion.

Dresslers syndrome is also known as postmyocardial infarction syndrome and the term is sometimes used to refer to post-pericardiotomy pericarditis.

Symptoms of Dresslers syndrome include chest pain that may worsen with leaning forward or taking a deep breath. Other symptoms include left shoulder pain, fever, and breathing difficulty.

Causes and Risk factors

Dresslers syndrome is a condition that can occur following a heart attack. It usually develops several days to several weeks after a heart attack. A person with Dresslers syndrome has inflammation of the pericardium, a sac that surrounds the heart. Inflammation of the pericardium is called pericarditis.

Dresslers syndrome is thought to be an autoimmune disease that results when the body immune system reacts abnormally to other parts of the body (pericardium).

It is believed to result from an autoimmune inflammatory reaction to myocardial neo-antigens formed as a result of the MI. A similar pericarditis can be associated with any pericardiotomy or trauma to the percardium or heart surgery.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The treatment of Dresslers may include aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, pain medications, corticosteroids, and colchicine. In rare cases, fluid may accumulate within the pericardial sac to the point that it needs to be drained with a needle. ...

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