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Post-cardiac injury syndromes

Brian D Hoit, MD
Section Editor
Martin M LeWinter, MD
Deputy Editor
Brian C Downey, MD, FACC


Pericarditis with or without a pericardial effusion resulting from injury of the pericardium constitutes the post-cardiac injury syndrome. Postcardiac injury syndrome was first described after myocardial infarction by Dressler in 1956 [1]. The principal conditions considered under this rubric are:

Postmyocardial infarction syndrome

Postpericardiotomy syndrome

Posttraumatic pericarditis

The term "postpericardiotomy syndrome" was substituted for the previous "postcardiotomy syndrome" after it was discovered that the syndrome can occur after the pericardium is opened even if no other cardiac structures are involved (eg, after surgery for bronchogenic lung carcinoma). Furthermore, the provoking cardiac injury may be surprisingly minor (eg, percutaneous coronary intervention, insertion of a pacing lead, radiofrequency ablation) [2].

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 12, 2017.
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