Posted by: sos | 2012/01/23

unusual chest pain

Hi Doc
I''m a 30 year old female and for the last few days I''ve been experienceing strange, quite sharp yet dull at the same time (I know that doesnt quite make sense) in my chest. It''s just one small area quite high in my chest and more to the left of my centre. I find it is most painful when I inhale and i have not noticed that particular activities aggravate it, it can come quite suddenly while I''m sitting on the couch. i have found that in the last few days my back (more specifically the shoulder area) has been very painful. In 2006 i had a heart infection (is what they called it, they werent sure if it was mycarditus) and i had only 52% heart function. I never recieved any medication for it but was told rest was the only thing that would help. i was concerned because the cardiologist I had would take readings that clearly showed a below average readin but would say it was probably normal for me and that it was probably all in my head. i can asure you it wasnt. I now find that at certain times, especially when I''m ill with flu for example, that i feel the same type of tiredness i did then, or the same feeling of a contricted chest with difficulty breathing i did then. Could this be linked in some way?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Dear SOS

We can be perfectly sure that the chest pain you have been experiencing recently has nothing to do with your heart. It sounds like what we call a “chest wall syndrome” in other words the pain is coming from the structures of the chest wall such as cartilage, muscle etc.

“52% heart function” probably refers to what is called the ejection fraction, which is a way of measuring the contractility of the heart muscle. Normal is from about 45-70%, so 52% is within the normal range. Obviously I do not have all the information that I would like but it does not sound as though you had myocarditis.

Tiredness after a viral illness such as flu is a normal phenomenon and I very much doubt that it is anything to do with your heart.

Kind regards, JT

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