Posted by: Elizabeth | 2011-11-28

Muscle bridge

My complaints were: always tired, chest pains shooting down my arms, jaw pain and palpatations. Had an angiogram which showed a muscle bridge. Was told that my symptoms could be explained because of this diagnosis. My question is: how serious is this conditions, and should I be concerned about it? I do have hypertension, diabetes, and a high cholesterol (treatment for all of those)
Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Elizabeth. You don’t mention how old you are, but being a diabetic and having high blood pressure and high cholesterol you are at higher risk than other women your age for coronary disease. However, it sounds as though the only possible “abnormality” on your angiogram was a muscle bridge. We should remember that a muscle bridge is something that you were born with. This being the case, it is highly unlikely to be responsible for the symptoms that you now have. After all, you presumably did not have the same symptoms when you were younger! Muscle bridges have very little effect on coronary blood flow, as contraction of the heart muscle in the muscle bridge would only affect flow during the contraction phase of the heart cycle, whereas blood flow to the heart muscle almost all occurs during the relaxation phase of the heart cycle. My advice would be to look for another cause for the symptoms that are troubling you, instead of blaming them on a muscle bridge. After more than 25 years in cardiology, I can’t remember ever seeing a patient whose symptoms were genuinely due to a muscle bridge, or who came to any harm as a result of a muscle bridge.

Best wishes. JT

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Mike | 2012-01-20

I am a 43 year old male, non-smoker and vegetarian. I started having elevated blood pressure (140/90) about 4 years ago, was told to keep it under control through exercise. I exercise regularly (jogging/cycling 5 km a day 5 days a week) and have never experienced any heart pain of any sort. A couple of months ago, during a routine exam, the cardiologist did not like my ecg and sent me to a Holter test, which showed elevated depression. I was sent to a stress test, which also had bad results, so my cardio suspected ischemia without any symptoms and sent me for a scintography which showed no arterial blockages. To be doubly sure, she sent me for a coronography which showed mild random spasms of arteries under stress and a muscle bridge across the arteries. They also discovered slight enlargement of heart and diagnosed early hypertonic disease. My cardio thinks that this will be a life threatening situation if not treated (and has prescribed beta blockers and anti spasm drugs) while the surgeon who did the coronography thinks that these are genetic and as long as I have no pain or other symptoms of heart disease, I don''t need to take medication and just need toI keep blood pressure and stress levels under control. He is worried that I will be taking medication lifelong while the problem at the moment is not serious enough to warrant medication.
How serious is the situation and is it worth getting a third opinion?

Reply to Mike

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