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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: LVH on EKG?


 2gayle - Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:10 am

I complained about mild pain in my left arm and leg that come and go. The pain goes away when I'm active doing exercise or walking. I actually feel better when I walk. I thought it may be peripheral vascular disease, but my internist ruled it out since I don't feel pain when walking. My internist took some blood sample and did an EKG. Since it was my first time with EKG, I was quite nervous when it was done. My internist said that there were some unusual spikes, so she sent me off to get an ECHO. Her diagnosis on my EKG was Left Ventricular Hypertrophy on EKG. She didnt really elaborate much. My question is with my being quite nervous when the test was done affected the EKG result which caused the abnormal spikes? If I'm nervous on the day of my ECHO, would that affect the result as well? I'm female and only 35 yrs old. I don't smoke nor drink. I'm still waiting for the lipid profile results along with liver and electrolyte results. Should I be asking her to refer me to a cardiologist?
 asdf - Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:31 am

EKG's are not really that accurate and it's very common for it to show one thing-- then the next test rule it out. Your echo will definately show what is really going on. I had an EKG that said LVH and did an xray--showing no LV enlargement. The following echo did show borderline LVH 49mm but nothing they were concerned about.
 2gayle - Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:36 am

Thanks for your reply. It helps calm me down a little. I won't have my ECHO til tomorrow so for the past 3 days, I'm just stressed out worrying about the EKG result.
 leamea - Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:56 am

Good luck. Hope it's nothing. Please let us know how your Echo turned out
 2gayle - Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:14 am

I called my internist to find out about the result of my ECHO. Her assistant called me back and told me there is nothing abnormal in my ECHO. It is good news. However, I still don't understand why I would have pain in my left leg/foot that comes and goes. or sometimes it would fall asleep as in like the flow of blood is obstructed. Or on occassion, I would feel my heart is beating fast. I should probably ask a referral to a cardiologist.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:10 pm

User avatar Hi 2gayle -

There are a lot of things that can cause what are called "deep" waves (QRS complex representing the heartbeat's electrical sequence), and not always an enlarged heart, although this is one thing we do look for. However, in your case I suspect you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned being nervous during the exam. This can actually cause a dramatic temporary increase in cardiac output, which can, in turn, produce the deep waves normally associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). However, the echo is an actual moving picture of the internal structures of the heart and if that looked normal then you don't have LVH.

The fact that your arm and leg pain go away during exercise should have been explained to you as a positive thing, that heart-related pain never goes away during exertion but usually gets worse. Also, since your legs are tied into a different branch of sensory nerves, heart problems will never cause leg pain. Since vascular problems seem to have been ruled out for you, it would seem most likely the arm and leg pain are coincidental, as the arms also use a different set of sensory nerves. The leg pain sounds like it might well be due to pressure on a low back (lumbar or sacral) nerve or even sciatica, pressure on the sciatic nerve. However, sciata doesn't usually go away during walking either, and in fact usually makes walking difficult. For that reason it sounds more and more benign as we rule out potential causes. In no case would the arm and leg be tied together where pain is concerned.

Hopefully by now the problem has resolved itself. Please feel free to follow up with us.

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