The daily educational pearl – Dressler’ syndrome

Dressler’ syndrome

= delayed pericarditis (one week to one month) after an acute myocardial infarction or cardiac trauma


– chest pain – usually pleuritic in nature

– low-grade fever

– shortness of breath



– pericardial friction rub

– in severe cases associated with a large pericardial effusion – muffled heart sounds, signs of pericardial tamponade – tachycardia, hypotension, elevated JVP; electrical alternans on ECG


Treatment is usually with aspirin; in more severe cases, steroids or colchicine can be used. If a significant pericardial effusion is present, they need pericardiocentesis.