What are the incidence and clinical presentation of early pericarditis after myocardial infarction (MI, heart attack)?

Updated: May 07, 2019
  • Author: A Maziar Zafari, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

The incidence of early pericarditis after MI is approximately 10%, and this complication usually develops within 24-96 hours after MI. Pericarditis is caused by inflammation of pericardial tissue overlying the infarcted myocardium. The clinical presentation may include severe chest pain, usually pleuritic, and pericardial friction rub.

Before the era of reperfusion, the incidence of post-MI pericarditis (Dressler syndrome) ranged from 1% to 5% after acute MI, but this rate has dramatically declined with the advent of thrombolysis and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


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