Dressler's syndrome

Dressler's syndrome is a type of pericarditis, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericardium). Inflammation associated with Dressler's syndrome is believed to be an immune system response following damage to heart tissue or the pericardium, such as a heart attack, surgery or traumatic injury.

Dressler's syndrome symptoms include chest pain, much like that experienced during a heart attack, and fever.

With recent improvements in heart attack treatment, Dressler's syndrome is less common than it used to be. However, once you've had this condition, it may happen again.

Dressler's syndrome may also be called postpericardiotomy, post-myocardial infarction syndrome and post-cardiac injury syndrome.

Symptoms Causes Complications Prevention

Symptoms are likely to appear weeks to months after a heart attack, surgery or other heart injury. Dressler's syndrome symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you experience any chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes. Other complications following a heart attack, surgery or other heart injury can cause symptoms of Dressler's syndrome. But chest pain may indicate a recurring heart attack or other undiagnosed disorder. That's why it's important to seek emergency care for any persistent chest pain.

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