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BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Aug 11;2017. pii: bcr-2017-220572. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-220572.

Postcardiac injury syndrome and stroke following permanent pacemaker insertion.

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Department of Medicine, Central Gippsland Health Service, Sale, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Monash Lung & Sleep, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


An 80-year-old woman initially presented with an episode of pleuritic chest pain 10 days after implantation of a dual chamber permanent pacemaker. She returned to hospital a day later with vomiting and fever. She was found to have new atrial fibrillation in addition to right-sided weakness and dysarthria. An infarct in the left anterior inferior cerebellar artery territory was later confirmed on CT. She continued to have recurrent febrile episodes associated with vomiting and dyspnoea. Extensive investigations for infection were negative, and her symptoms were initially attributed to aspiration pneumonia. The patient gradually deteriorated despite antibiotics and became progressively short of breath, with development of large pleural and pericardial effusions. A diagnosis of postcardiac injury syndrome was made after exclusion of other differentials. The patient recovered well after pleurocentesis, pericardiocentesis and a pericardial window, with resolution of symptoms without further medical therapy.


arrhythmias; interventional cardiology; medical education; stroke


Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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