Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Chest pain/shortness of breath without help

 pennington1 - Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:02 pm

I have had 11 heart caths since 11-01-06, 2 stents in the LAD and angioplasty x 2. I have chest pain both at rest and with excertion, shortness of breath almost continueously, to the point of often having to get help bathing. my heart rate often drops to around 32-40 and stays down for extended periods of time, and my blood pressure drops frequently to the point of readings of 60/30, i have dizzy spells to the point of passing out, and even spent a week in the hospital on depicoate just to get the pressure up. I recently had a chemical stress test that showed severe ischimia, they did a heart cath two days later and said they couldn't find anything and that the results could have been "shaddowing". I have seen two other doctors that "reviewed" my current doctors findings and said they don't know. My current cardiologist says he doesn't know what to do now, except maybe send me to a pain clinic. please help.
 Dr. A. Madia - Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:10 pm

User avatar Hi,

Coronary artery disease interferes with Heart physiology in two distinct ways. One, it causes impairment of blood supply to the heart muscle due to blockages and cause ischemia leading to Anginal pain or heart attack. Second, It can cause ‘necrosis’ or death of part of the heart muscle leading to reduction in pumping power [‘Ejection Fraction’ or EF]of the heart. This can lead to shortness of breath [SOB].

After 11 caths and 2 palsties, you get chest pain on exertion and dyspnea on effort so much so that you have to be bathed. This suggests two things. Either you are still having severe ischemia or second- and more likely- you are having a low ejection fraction. I am sure you must have undergone an Echocardiogram and this will she what Ejection Fraction you have. If it is below 30 % it can be the reason for your shortness of breath. The fact that you have BP sometime of 60/30 and you have to be hospitalized to keep it up probably indicates a low EF.

You say you have a pulse of 32-40. If really so, metoprolol needs to be curtailed in a gradual manner after consultation with your cardiologist.

From your profile I see that you have been a smoker and you have a COPD which is also a cause for your SOB.

I hope I have been helpful.


| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us