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