Dressler's Syndrome Treatment- Cardiology

Dressler's syndrome happens when the sac surrounding the heart becomes inflammed. It is also considered as a response of the immune system after heart tissue damage or pericardium damage which is caused by a heart attack, surgery or traumatic injury. The signs and symptoms of Dressler's syndrome may include chest pain that is very similar to chest pain in a heart attack.

Additionally, Dressler's syndrome is a type of pericarditis. It is also known as postpericardiotomy syndrome, postmyocardial infarction syndrome and post-cardiac injury syndrome.

Why is Dressler's syndrome treatment required?

Dressler syndrome is also associated with a condition known as pleural effusion. This happens when fluids collect in the layers around your lungs. This condition can lead to more severe health complications if not treated right away.

In rare cases, chronic inflammation in the heart can lead to very serious complications, including:

  • Cardiac tamponade, which happens when fluid accumulates around the heart sac. This can put pressure in the heart and make it hard to pump blood into some areas of the body. It can lead to shock, organ failure and even death.
  • Constrictive pericarditis, which is due to thickness or scarring of the pericardium, which is then due to long-term inflammation

Which doctor to consult?

Talk to a cardiologist, who will explain to you about the procedure, the risks and after-care.

What to expect during Dressler's Syndrome treatment?

Medications will be prescribed by your doctor to reduce inflammation.  After four to six weeks of taking these drugs and there are no improvements, your doctor will prescribe other treatments, and these include:

  • Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug
  • Corticosteroids, which are drugs that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. However, these drugs has side effects and are considered as the last option


If you develop any complications of Dressler’s syndrome, more aggressive treatments may be needed:

  • Thoracentesis, which is one of the treatments for pleural effusion. It is done by draining fluid from the lungs using a needle
  • Pericardiocentesis, which is the treatment for cardiac tamponade. This is done by inserting a needle or catheter to remove excess fluid
  • Constrictive pericarditis may be treated with surgery to remove the pericardium (pericardiectomy)


  • Dressler Syndrome: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment. (2019). Retrieved from
  • Dressler's syndrome - Symptoms and causes. (2019). Retrieved from

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