What is the role of Dressler syndrome in the etiology of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Dressler syndrome is now considered rare. When pericarditis associated with Dressler syndrome does occur, it is usually observed 2-3 weeks after a myocardial infarction. Initially, the syndrome was described in as many as 4% of patients following and acute MI. Later studies suggested a much lower incidence. Dressler syndrome is rarely described with pulmonary embolism.

This syndrome may be a unique autoimmune-mediated phenomenon to myocardial antigens, or it may merely be an unrecognized post–MI pericarditis. Patients may develop pulmonary infiltrates and large pericardial effusions.

Because of the risk of hemorrhagic pericarditis, anticoagulant therapy should be stopped in patients with Dressler syndrome.

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