Dressler syndrome: symptoms, treatment and prognosis

Dressler’s syndrome or post-infarction syndrome, cardiology, means a complication of myocardial infarction, which may occur after 2-6 weeks after the occurrence of the disease. But this syndrome appears only in 4 % of cases, so it can be called a rare phenomenon.



It is customary to distinguish three forms of the disease.

Expanded (typical) form is characterized by damage to connective tissue, has the following kinds:

  • pleural;
  • percale-priuralny;
  • pericardial;
  • pleuro-pneumonic;
  • pneumonic;
  • pericardial-pleural-pneumonic;
  • pericline-pneumonic.

The atypical form may occur the following types:

  • skin;
  • cardioplegia;
  • peritoneal;
  • arthritic.

Erased (oligosymptomatic) form manifested by the following symptoms:

  • change blood;
  • pain in the joints;
  • fever.

Symptoms and causes

Symptoms symptoms of this disease include the following:

  • the increase in temperature, but the temperature usually does not rise above 39 degrees;
  • poor health and discomfort;
  • pain in the chest area;
  • the tendency to relapse;
  • fever.

Obligatory sign of pathology can be called pericarditis, which is manifested by the presence of the following symptoms:

  • pain in the heart area with different nature;
  • pain can radiate to the neck, shoulder, left arm.

Pneumonitis is manifested by such symptoms:

  • shortness of breath with slight exertion;
  • dry cough;
  • pain in the chest area;
  • the appearance of streaks of blood in the sputum.

If we are talking about the last symptom, you should immediately contact your doctor, as the disease may acquire more severe.

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Syndrome can manifest as pleurisy, with the following symptoms:

  • dry cough;
  • pain in left side of chest, often rear;
  • temperature;
  • signs of pneumonitis and pericarditis.

When the disease can affect the skin, which is manifested by rashes in the form of urticaria, eczema or dermatitis.

Very rarely during the illness develops cardioplegia syndrome, which manifests by pain in the shoulder, arm and chest. Its presence is indicated by the following complaint:

  • sensitivity hands;
  • shoulder pain;
  • marble skin;
  • numbness and «tingling» in his arm.

All these changes affect only the right extremity.

You may also see the syndrome of the front of the chest, manifested by swelling and pain in the chest.

More often the disease becomes chronic with periods of remission and exacerbation, continuing from several days to a month. Known cases where the disease has been treated immediately, but this is rare.

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If we talk about the development of this syndrome, it can occur in 30% of people and have different causes. In recent years, physicians identify fewer and fewer of those who are susceptible to this disease, as constantly develops new drugs to combat the syndrome of Dressler.

The reasons for the development of the disease highlighted a lot, but first of all is myocardial infarction, transmural or large-focal.

The immediate causes of the syndrome are:

  • cell death of cardiac muscle;
  • the ingress of decomposition products in the blood;
  • autosensibilization of the body.

Immune cells that are responsible for xenobiotic substances, begin to behave aggressively towards protein molecules. During illness the body makes its own cells as foreign. Synovium, pleura and pericardium become inflamed, but the process can only be aseptic in nature (without the presence of viruses and other parasites). During inflammation fluid accumulates in various organs. This is the cause of joint pain.

In addition, the Dressler syndrome may occur after surgery on the heart. But do not confuse it with the following condition:

  • postcolectomy syndrome caused by the mitral valve;
  • postcardiotomy syndrome caused by dissection of the pericardium.

With myocardial infarction symptom they have much in common, including: causes, occurrence of the disease, methods of diagnosis, treatment, mechanisms of development. That is why they belong to the same group of diseases, and syndrome of Dressler.

The disease can also develop in people with autoimmune diseases, but this practice is rare.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose the disease is not so difficult. To assume its presence is possible, if after the heart attack, the patient will complain of the symptoms described above. Also discovered during examination of the patient by the doctor. Sometimes the disease is slow, and so a inspection will not be enough. In this case, the doctor may prescribe the following tests and examinations:

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  • Biochemical analysis of blood. You may notice an increased level of reactive protein.
  • Immunological examination. With the aim of detecting increased levels of creatine kinase (MB-fraction).
  • A complete blood count. It is possible to increase the number of leukocytes.
  • X-rays of the chest and shoulder joints. Shows the shadow of the heart, thickness of the pleura, narrowing of the joint space.
  • Rheumatological samples. The analysis shows an increased protein level.
  • ECG. Identify the signs of heart attack.
  • CT or MRI of the chest. Prescribed for vague symptoms. Research may reveal pleurisy, pericarditis, pneumonitis.
  • Echocardiography. Possible detection of fluid in the heart bag.
  • Generally, this disease can be called one of the most dangerous, because it not only violates the patient’s state of health, but also reduces the level of his life.

    Treatment should be stationary under the constant supervision of a doctor. Particularly dangerous for the patient, the first manifestation of the disease.

    Usually the treatment is based on two methods:

  • The pill.
  • The introduction of drugs intravenously.
  • The most effective drugs to treat the following:

  • Glucocorticoid hormones, which improve the patient’s observed on the second day of the disease. But it is worth noting that such treatment continues for a long time, as after its termination, you may experience deterioration of the disease. Removal of the drug is made carefully, with a gradual reduction in dose.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Usually antibiotics are not prescribed for this disease but can be treated with lung injury or joint pain.
  • Analgin severe pain.
  • Cardiotropic drugs.
  • In addition to treatment with medicines, the doctor can prescribe therapy to improve the condition of the patient, for example, oxygen inhalation, which reduce the ischemia of the heart. In General, the duration of treatment should be not less than 10 days, although 2-3 days noticed an improvement in the condition of the patient.

    In some cases, can be shown and the operation. Many people for treatment using the methods of traditional medicine. You need to prepare the following drink:

  • Mix 20 g of each ingredient: Valerian root, motherwort, cumin.
  • Pour the dry mixture with water at the rate of 1 tablespoon a glass of water.
  • To prepare the broth in a water bath for 15-20 minutes.
  • Leave for a few hours.
  • Drain.
  • Squeeze.
  • Make bedtime a glass of drink.
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    How would people’s methods was not good, they should be used only after recommendation of doctor as additional treatment.


    In order not to aggravate their situation, patients should adhere to a healthy way of life, renouncing all bad habits. In order not to harm their health, must adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Eat right. Need to eat more vegetables, berries, fruits, drink natural juices. You should give up fatty, smoked and flour.
    • Give up bad habits, as well as from coffee.
    • To moderate physical activity.
    • On the recommendation of the doctor to stay in bed.
    • On the third day from the development of a heart attack, you can perform some breathing and physical exercises, but only in bed.

    Complications and future forecast

    Complications during illness is not seen. Very rarely they can be observed from vessels and kidneys. If you refuse treatment, pericardial effusion can be transformed into adhesive, against which there will be congestion in the systemic circulation and the heart muscles can’t relax. May also develop and restrictive heart failure.

    But as a rule, syndrome Dressler deadly is not life-threatening. Of course, in some actions the patient can limit yourself, but this period is usually not delayed more than 3 months. If we are talking about complicated cases, the disease may last longer.

    In some cases not avoid the disability is possible if the heart is not properly performing its functions or frequent relapses.