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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: chest pain & tachycardia but no CAD


 periwinkle - Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:57 pm

I am a 44 year old woman in generally good health, 5' 5" and 130lbs. No know relevant family history.

Starting a few weeks ago i began to experience pain on the chest when laying on my side, and it's gotten worse to the extent that now my chest is tender to the touch pretty much all over, and there's pain, pressure and tightness radiating from behind my sternum.
RHS hurts worse than LHS - but both hurt.
Distinct Facial Pallor. Low grade fever.
Breathing is labored and 'wheezy'....especially in the heat.Somewhat episodic - if i'm not physically stressed - the symptoms diminish.

I've had TWO episodes where there was apparent tachycardia and angina......after bouts of minor exertion.......but i wonder how much of those 'conditions' were simply acute chest pain, difficulty in breathing, weak pulse and sheer panic.

Originally the doctor thought this was all due to sinusitis and more recently bronchitis, but if i have these conditions i honestly believe they are masking something much more fundamental.

Finishing up a course of antibiotics and of predisone type steroids. Neither seems to have made any difference.

All the 'CAD' tests, inc, EKG have come back negative - thankfully.....and my blood pressure is good (100/70), - my resting sine wave is good, and when i'm not physically stressed my pulse returns to the '70's...although it's more volatile than it used to be.

I'm worrying about other conditions such as costochondritis, pericarditis, pluerisy, abnormal chest expansion etc., and wondering how best to (a) arrive at an accurate diagnosis (b) arrive at an effective treatment.

This condition (cluster of conditions?) is effecting my employment.

Your thoughts in this matter are very much appreciated.

Deeply Worried.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:05 pm

User avatar Hi Deeply Worried,

I think you may be right about the tachycardia being related to something else rather than a heart problem.

Chest pain can be a bit difficult to diagnose at times. All the things you mention could potentially cause chest pain. Pleurisy classically causes sharp, stabbing pain that is much worse with a deep breath. Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage portion of the ribs. Pressing on the rib in the area where the pain is causes the same type of pain.

It may also be that you have a pneumonia (such as a walking pneumonia from a bug called mycoplasma). A diffuse pneumonia such as this can cause diffuse inflammation and pain all over the chest.

Another common cause of chest pain (although it doesn't fit your story very well) is acid reflux. During acute attacks, if you take an antacid such as Tums or Rolaids and the pain gets better this is likely the cause.

I would recommend you continue to follow up with your doctor to try to determine what is going on.

Best wishes.

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