Dressler's syndrome?

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maras1

I just spent 6 days in the hospital and the final diagnosis is Dressler's syndrome. I know this is a delayed form of pericarditis but, how long does it last? I've been taking ibuprophene 4 times a day for the past 6 days and it does not seem to be getting any better. The day before this struck I was walking 3+ miles a day, riding my bike and looking forward to going back to work in the next couple of days. Since this hit, I get really tired every afternoon and end up taking 2 hour naps to recover. It's getting frustrating since this has worn me down worse than the surgery.
 
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Lisa in Katy

I was diagnosed with Dressler's syndrome after my surgery as well. Pericarditis was also used at times. At times I had lots of fluid, at times I didn't have any. Mine started 8 weeks after surgery, a few days before I went back to work. It lasted quite a while, with the pain coming and going, but diminished with time. I was on Prednisone for about 9 months (very low dose for quite a while) and then switched to Vioxx when it came out. It has also recurred several times in the last 10 years, but now I know what it feels like at the very beginning and I take Mobic as soon as I feel it. What I have now is called recurrent pericarditis, which is quite rare.
 
M

maras1

Lisa,
When you get an episode, is it like the first time again, feeling crappy and low grade fever? I feel good in the mornings but get tired and don't feel so hot in the afternoon. I get low grade fevers some afternoons. Is this something I need to get used to and fight through it at work or does it go away in a few days usually?
 
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Lisa in Katy

No, the first episodes were definitely worse. I had my surgery at the end of June, and September & October were the worst by far for me. I did have low grade fever and some tiredness, but it was the radiating pain and shortness of breath that were the worst. When I've had the recurrent episodes, it starts as pain under my left collar bone and moved to my shoulder. I start taking Aleve or Mobic immediately and it will go away within a few days.

I can't comment on work because I don't know what you do. I worked in an office, had fairly flexible hours, and if I needed to shut my door and take a nap, I could.

By the way, Aleve worked much better than Ibuprofen for me.
 

Eva

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Lisa,
When you get an episode, is it like the first time again, feeling crappy and low grade fever? I feel good in the mornings but get tired and don't feel so hot in the afternoon. I get low grade fevers some afternoons. Is this something I need to get used to and fight through it at work or does it go away in a few days usually?

Unfortunately I do not have any advice here, but a question. How low is the fever that you have?! thanks.
 
M

maras1

The fever is only in the 99's. The doctors said as long as it doesn't get over 100.3 that it's a symptom, not an infection. I'm sure I don't have an infection because I was also diagnosed with an anti biotic resistant strain of pneumonia (not MRSA). It was a very small spot and as soon as I started on Zyvox, it cleared right up. I've been on Zyvox for the past week and it kills everything.
 

Eva

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The fever is only in the 99's. The doctors said as long as it doesn't get over 100.3 that it's a symptom, not an infection.

Thanks, Mark, for responding. I am still lost -- what is a 'symptom' not an 'infection':confused: Please can you clarify. Wednesday of last week, I had a fever for 99.8, 99.6, 99.4 all the afternoon and I was sweating from every single pore in my body, but mainly my face and the back of my neck. My doctor disregarded the incident since the fever went away the second day, but this still hovers over my brain,,, what if? lab work last friday did not show any infection. Pls share your opinion with me. Thanks in advance.
Eva
 
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Lisa in Katy

Eva--

When you have Dressler's or pericarditis, your pericardium is inflamed, your heart is working harder, and you will probably have pain and feel unwell because your body is focusing on that one area. Since your body is working harder, it can cause a slight increase in your body temp. Therefore the temp is a symptom that your body is working hard, not that it is fighting an infection.
 

Eva

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Thanks, Lisa. We learn something new every day!! So, the fever is repetitious in the pms! Are there other symptoms, such as high pulse?!
I wish us all good luck and I hope we all continue our recoveries without any surprises.

Prayers, Eva
 

Kathy McCain

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Hi again Everybody,
Well, I still have pericarditis .As long as I take the Prednesone, but not long after I discontinue, it starts back up. I am going to a diffferent cardio this week, maybe he will have a different take on this. It is really dragging me down, emotionally, and physically. It is almost 9 months since my aortic valve replacement. I could really be doing so well, if it was not for this condition. Is there really a cure? I am loosing hope.

Good luck to all! Kathy M.
 

Eva

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Kathy,

It is a good idea to see another cardio and I hope he will be able to help. I have no knowledge about this, but I am sure it can be cured with the right medication. Good luck with the new cardio and keep us posted.

With prayers:)
 
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Lisa in Katy

Kathy - I know how you feel. Recurrent pericarditis is what brought me to this group 10 years ago when it was an email group and much harder to find. I was quite frustrated and trying to cure myself through web research and happened upon a link to Hank's group.

In my opinion, NSAIDs work better than Prednisone. Ten years ago, after taking Prednisone for about 9 months and having Pericarditis recur every time I came completely off it, they tried Vioxx, which worked at knocking it out. I have had recurrent episodes since that time, but once I start the NSAIDs, they go away pretty quickly. Vioxx is no longer available, but Aleve and Mobic are also good. I start with Aleve and if I'm still having pain the next day, I use Mobic. I think Celebrex is another drug in the same class.

Colchicine, a drug typically used for gout, shows promise in fighting Pericarditis. You might want to mention it to your Cardiologist, as it is still a relatively new study. Here is a link to a short article that you can take to your appointment. http://www.jefferson.edu/internal/residency/pdfs/CCJM art.pdf

Good luck!
 

Kathy McCain

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Pericarditis

Pericarditis

Hi All,

Thanks Lisa in Katy, and Eva! I need all the encouragement I can get. My appt is in 2 wks. It's the earliest they could see me. I will keep you posted.
My biggest concern is constrictive pericarditis, although I understand it is relatively rare from valve surgery.

Will keep you posted! Thanks again,
Kathy M.
 

Kathy McCain

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Pericarditis

Pericarditis

Lisa,

I forgot to ask you, how long were you on the Vioxx? Yes, I understand that Celebrex is similar, that is one med they have not tried.

Kathy M.
 
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Lisa in Katy

It's been quite a while, so I don't remember. I think I took it regularly for about a month. After that, only when I started to feel the pain under my collarbone, which was every few months for a while. but eventually became farther apart. I think my last one was about this time last year.

I also worried about constrictive pericarditis (and still do occasionally), but as you say, it is very rare. Worse comes to worst, they remove the pericardium.
 
S

SandyMom

My son developed Dressler's syndrome on the 3rd post op day and is six months out now still has left shoulder and collar bone pain. How did they diagnose yours by echo?? He took steroid for three weeks and then ibuprofen for 2 months and now is on nothing but has really not regained his energy back.
 
S

SandyMom

My son developed Dressler's syndrome on the 3rd post op day and is six months out now still has left shoulder and collar bone pain. How did they diagnose yours by echo?? He took steroid for three weeks and then ibuprofen for 2 months and now is on nothing but has really not regained his energy back. They told us that this was more common in the younger patients my son is 21??
 
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Lisa in Katy

They can only diagnose it by echo if there is fluid (effusion) within the sac, which isn't always the case. I initially had a great deal of fluid, so along with the symptoms, it was easy to diagnose on an echo. In the absence of fluid, it was just based on symptoms and timing. 50% of people have an abnormal EKG, so 50% do not. I didn't.

It is interesting that they would call his Dressler's syndrome, since it occurred so early. Dressler's is usually delayed by 2-10 weeks. Mine showed up at 8 weeks. If it is earlier that than, they usually call it pericarditis. The symptoms are the same and the terms are often used interchangeably.

You might want to mention Colchicine to his doctor. That is becoming more common for Dressler's and pericarditis that are resistent to standard treatments.
 

Eva

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Hi All,

Thanks Lisa in Katy, and Eva! I need all the encouragement I can get. ....
My biggest concern is constrictive pericarditis, although I understand it is relatively rare from valve surgery.

Will keep you posted! Thanks again,
Kathy M.

Kathy M.,

I shall keep you in my prayers and I hope you shall feel better very soon and no recurrences.
I look forward to your 'good' update!:)
 
S

SandyMom

Thanks for the advice but last two echos show no fluid at all so I am hoping it is gone. He has sternal and shoulder pain mainly in the mornings when he wakes up and it gets better with movement.
 

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