Dressler’s syndrome / postmyocardial infarction / postpericardiotomy syndrome



Also known as postmyocardial infarction syndrome or postpericardiotomy syndrome, Dressler’s syndrome is characterized by pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart that occurs after damage to the organ itself or to the pericardium).  It is believed to be autoimmune, as evidenced by the presence of myocardial antibodies that could be the cause of inflammation.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms appear anywhere between one week to one month after a heart attack, surgery, or injury to the chest. Some common symptoms include chest pain, fatigue, difficulty breathing, weakness, or fever.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Pleural effusion (​​buildup of fluid between the tissues that line the lungs and the chest), cardiac tamponade (compression of the heart caused by fluid collecting in the sac surrounding the heart), dyspnea (difficulty breathing), and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).

Risk Factors and Prevalence

People who have recently suffered a myocardial infarction are at risk of developing Dressler’s syndrome. Additional factors linked to the disease include viral infection, recent heart surgery, prior history of pericarditis, prednisone treatment, age, blood type, and exposure to halothane anesthesia.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Dressler syndrome—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dresslers-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20371811

    2. Dressler’s Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17947-dresslers-syndrome

    3. Leib, A. D., Foris, L. A., Nguyen, T., & Khaddour, K. (2021). Dressler Syndrome. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441988/