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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Recurring unstable angina symptoms

 Ludwig357 - Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:19 am


I am a 20 year old male presenting recurring chest pain. These pains began about one year and a half ago when I was a chronic marijuana user. Most of the times I would smoke marijuana, I would experience a slight pain in the upper left part of my chest near the shoulder. I have also abused a variety of other drugs in the past including over the counter cough medication containing dextromethorphan. I have used cocaine, but not in the past year and was never a heavy or even moderate user of it and it never caused me pain. I have not used crack cocaine. I no longer use drugs; I had smoked cigarettes for three and a half years but have been a nonsmoker for two months. About two months ago, these pains existed without my using marijuana so I went to the ER and got a X-Ray which the doctor said revealed a hyperinflated lung. A few days after, I took one inhalation of marijuana and experienced pain in my upper central chest and went to the ER. I received an EKG and an echocardiogram, both of which returned normal. Since then I have been back to the ER five times, with similar symptoms, sometimes with pain radiating into the left arm, left jaw, back, and upper abdomen. These pains have occurred dozens of times, only one time after exertion. I had a stress EKG with radionuclides done and it was normal. I am not taking any medications. My grandparents all had a cardiac history, but none before their 50s or 60s. I still get the pains, they are not severe, but extremely disconcerting. What could be wrong, what should I do?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:20 am

User avatar Hello Ludwig357,

You may want to consider seeing a pulmonologist (lung specialist) for further evaluation. It sounds like your heart has been well evaluated and appears to be OK. In these cases, the next culprit is the lungs. It may be that you have some inflammation and irritation of your lungs that is causing your chest pain.

The marijuana smoke may have exacerbated this irritation causing the episode to occur when you were smoking.

Best wishes.

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