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Young man w/ heart failure symptoms: thoughts?
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Young man w/ heart failure symptoms: thoughts?

Hi, all,

Back in January through April I was having severe chest pains, shortness of breath, etc. but repeated ER visits and my cardiologist seemed to find nothing wrong with my heart. Started taking beta-blockers for anxiety (caused by symptoms, not the other way around) and palpitations.

Despite the positive tests I've still had the pains and shortness of breath. Intermittent pains and SOB between April and now. I began exercising again a few days ago, and had to stop after ten minutes because my chest hurt and I could barely breathe. No SOB as I write this, but seems to come back with exertion. Weak/fluttery pulse sometimes also, usually at night when falling asleep.

Could this be related to some early-stage, early-onset heart failure? I'm interested to hear anyone's speculations. Heart damage in the young is hard to detect.

More extensive accounts of everything I've gone through can be found here: http://ehealthforum.com/health/do-i-have-myocarditis-t386303.html (I was worried earlier in the year about experiencing symptoms caused by myocarditis, and suppose I still am.)

And here, too: http://www.reddit.com/r/Health/comments/19lr0q/calling_all_cardiologists_heart_problems/

I also had an echo in February that showed my heart working normally (LVEF 65%). But I wonder if things could've changed between now and then.

Thanks for your advice.
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

It is hard to give you an accurate assessment of the situation over the internet without reviewing your history and the studies in person but I can give you some pointers.

Clearly you have had a lot of chest symptoms that have created a lot of concern in your mind regarding heart problems. I read the links that you have posted and have some suggestions.

I feel that you do not have "myocarditis". Myocarditis refers to inflammation of the heart muscle tissue which leads to a drop in the pumping function in your heart. You had a normal echocardiogram a few months ago with no signs suggestive of a drop in the pumping function of your heart.
It is possible that you have a condition called "pericarditis" which refers to an inflammation of the layers surrounding the heart and may produce intense chest pains like yours. Investigations like cardiac MRI may help make that diagnosis.
It is also very likely that your symptoms are not related to the heart at all. There are several organs in your chest including the lungs, which may cause symptoms that you describe and may confuse the picture.

I would suggest that you seek second opinion from another cardiologist that specializes in the diseases of the pericardium as well as a lung doctor to start with. We have several specialists at the Cleveland Clinic, who deal with both these conditions and you are always welcome to seek consultation here.
Hope that helps

CCFHeartMD19
2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks so much for your response. I live in California; is the only way to get in touch with the Cleveland Clinic via their MyConsult online service? Is there any way to learn the names of the two relevant specialists you mention?

Again, all my thanks.
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