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Clin Cardiol. 1992 Feb;15(2):67-72.

The postcardiac injury syndromes.

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Division of Cardiology, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket 02860.


Late pericarditis following myocardial infarction, cardiac surgery, or trauma is referred to as postmyocardial infarction syndrome (PMIS) or postcardiotomy syndrome (PCS), respectively. The term postcardiac injury syndrome (PCIS) is used to encompass both these entities. PCIS is characterized by fever, pleuropericardial pain, pericarditis, and pulmonary involvement. Abnormal laboratory findings include leukocytosis, high sedimentation rate, and chest x-ray abnormalities of pleural effusion with or without pulmonary infiltrates. Evidence supports an immunopathic etiology; viruses may play a contributing role. The course is benign but rare complications include tamponade, constriction, anemia, and coronary bypass graft occlusion. Anti-inflammatory agents are helpful; indo-methacin and steroids are preferably avoided. Rarely, PMIS-like syndrome may occur following pulmonary embolism. Anticoagulation and steroids have been used successfully in the latter situation.

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