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Burning sensation in chest and between shoulder blades
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Burning sensation in chest and between shoulder blades

I have been suffering with occasional to frequent pvc/pac for the last 17 months. PVC/PAC are pretty much constant with maybe only a few hours break here and there.

During these past 17 months I have had battery of tests done to rule out underlying heart conditions. Tests done: 2 cardiac mri, 1 tee, multiple echos, multiple stress tests (one with cardiolite), multiple holter monitors, a signal average ekg, multiple ekgs.  All tests bear normal findings.  Per my doctor at Hopkins my pvc come from RV outflow track. I am currently on Sectral 100 mg per day.  Cholesterol is 165. CRP is <0.7. My latest visit to John Hopkins has been on 8/19/02 and most of the tests indicated above have been done as late as 8/19/02. I am a female 38 years old, no smoke, no drink, average weight and heights.

A few days ago I had a flu shoot.  I have not been feeling well for the past couple of days. PVC have been pretty bad as well.  Yesterday I had chest pain all day long. The pain travelled through me into the middle of my shoulder blades. My neck has been stiff and I have not been able to get comfortable during the night. I have been feeling sleepy and tired.  I hesitate to call my primary care physician because as usual he will blow me off and say "it is all stress"...take a day off.  
Questions:
-Is a burning sensation in the middle of the chest with pain between shoulder blades and a stiff neck a reason to go the E.R?
Can a flu shoot precipitate all this?
What are typical signs of a heart attack?
Given my hystory what do you suggest?
thanks - italia38
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Avatar_n_tn
italia38,

Thanks for your questions. I reviewed your previous histories from the postings here.

Given that you are a 38 year-old female, your expected incidence of coronary artery disease is quite low, but not zero.  I would encourage you to seek attention from your primary care physician and consider a trip to the ER if you are have difficulty reaching your primary in a timely fashion.  The standard answer from a physician when asked "Should I go to the ER when I have chest pain?" is Yes.

The flu vaccine can precipitate flu-like symptoms, which might be consistent with those symptoms you described.

The typical symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain and shortness of breath, but can include many other symptoms such as sweatiness, lightheadedness, arm discomfort, back pain, among others.

I suggest you call your primary physician ASAP or travel to the local ER if you are unable to talk to him soon.

Hope that helps.
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
dear doc,
I followed your advice and visited the local er.  I was there for about 4 hours. They hooked me to the ekg machine, did blood work and chest x-ray. The cardiac enzyme All turned out normal.  The doc on duty said that it probably is a spasm of the esophagus that radiated between my shoulder blades.  
thanks for the suggestion to visit the er - I never phoned my primary care physician since as said he usually blows me off with what I think is a very unprofessional behavior...can't wait to change him once we change healthcare carrier next year.
Regards,
Italia38
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Italia38,
Just want you to know that you are not alone in the pac pvc suffering. I am a 31 year old female and for about 6 years had suffered constantly. I was blown off also went through the ekgs, holters, stress tests, and a variety of different medication. I think you actually had more tests done than I did so consider yourself lucky in that respect. I even went into atrial fibrillation and had to go to the er. then transfered to the ICU unit before anyone took me seriously. So I just wanted to tell you that I do understand what you are going through it is a nightmare! I think people dont understand until they have had to suffer with thousands of pacs pvcs daily it is truly the worst. I wish you luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can sympathize with you as well! I havent had all the tests you have had so I think your pretty safe there! MRI's even - is that like a heart scan?  At any rate - I wanted to say that I also have esophogeal spasms of sorts  / I guess thats what they are but it totally mimicks heart attack!! I had chest pain dead center, going through to my back - up into my left shouder and DOWN MY LEFT ARM!!! I thought I was dying for sure. EKG's turned out fine (normal abnormalities if you can figure that out) but they said it had to be esophogeal.  It did go away and I get it still occasionally. I also have costochondritis - an inflammation of the chest wall and that mimicks heart attack in the same way - so probably 90% of the time our chest pain is nothing - but you always have to be sure - good luck!
sheila
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Avatar_n_tn
i just came home from the hospital after 3 days,the dr. thinks
i have a spastic esophagus..i am 59yrs old and have CAD
cornary artery disease, have 3 stents -- i was having and still
am having as i sit here chest pains and pain in the upper back
between the shoulder blades..i had a halter heart moniter on
they checked the blood and said i was not having a heart attack
which i told them this time the pain was differnt then before
when i had a blocked artery.
they checked my gallbladder ( found stones) but i still dont
know what is wrong with me... i am still in pain and sick.
can you help.
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Avatar_n_tn
First accept my sincere thanks for putting up a wonderful informative site like this.

I am 32 years old. Around 3 months backs, I had severe pain in left chest and was admitted to the hospital. The following tests were peformed. ECG, ECHO, Blood Tests, CK-MB, Trponin - I, Thyroid tests, Chest X-Ray etc. My pulse rate was 163. The cholestrol level was - overall 240 mg/dl, Tryglycerides - 150 mg/dl, HDL - 46 and LDL 164 mg/dl., The CK-MB was 2.5ng/ml and Tronin - I was negative. The Creatine Phosphokinase Serum (CPK) was at 235 U/L. The doctor informed that this is not a cardiac related one. Its only SINUS TACHYCARDIA. He precribed Tenormin 50 mg/day. However the pain continued and twice I had pain on my left arm, Left shoulder blades and back. Besides I had pain in the jaws for almost 2 months.I also had the feeling of numbness on left fingers and left leg for around 1 week. Besides I had severe headaches and at times felt dizziness and fatigue. The doctor told that there is nothing abnormal. The pain normally occurs twice a day and lasts for more than 2 hours. The pain in the chest continued at different places in the chest region. The pain mostly occurs near the left armpit and below the left nipple and exactly below the middle region of the breast bone. The pain normally increases with the increase in heart beat. At times while working in the computer or while standing, I get the pain. This was informed to the doctor. He said nothing to worry and prescribed the CPK test once again last week. The CPK levels was 235 U/L.The pain is now in both the sides of the chest. The pain can felt while pressing with fingers in the region. Pressing with fingers will bring some comfort from the pain. Besides at times I feel that the breast region is chocked and feels taking antacids. Yesterday also, the middle portion of my chest was choked as if gas formation. I tried antacids,water, milk, soda to get rid of the chocking. But nothing worked and after around 3-4 hours the gas came out giving a bit of relief.The Doctor kept on telling that this is only SINUS TACHYCARDIA and nothing to worry and asked me to continue with TENORMIN 25 Mg/day (reduced to 25 mg/day). However of late I am having severe heartburns ocassionally which is not releived by taking antacids. The pain will continue for around 3-4 hours and feels life some lump is present below the middle region of the breast bone. At times I have dierheas and my stool is loose and colouish , mostly like muroon colour. Of late the stool looks tarish and black. Doctor please let me know what exactly is my desease?? I did GI endoscopy and it was found that I have severe Deuodenitis & antral gastricis with multipile bleeding spots & non erosive mild oesophagaitis.

Is this pain Sinus tachcardia or gastritis or cardiac problem?. Is the digonse by my doctor is correct?? Is there anybody experiencing similar syptoms (symptoms)??

Thanks & Regards

SK_uae
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Avatar_n_tn
I am not a doc but sounds like you should try to find one that will listen to your concerns.  If the pain you are feeling can be relieved or minimized by massaging with your fingers, then it may be muscle pain and not your heart. You could also be experiencing pain from esophogus or heartburn issues.  I would get checked out by a qualified cardiologist and go from there.  good luck
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