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Coronary Artery Spasm
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Coronary Artery Spasm

I awoke in the middle of the night with a sharp throbbing pain at breast level just on the heart side of my sternum.
After a couple of minutes we started towards the emergency room. At one point I thought we should call for the ambulance. 15 minutes into the pain it stopped before we reached the emergency room. The EKG showed bradycardia and right bundle branch. The doctor diagnosed it as indigestion. I have had indigestion and heartburn. That is not what I was feeling. It was a very focal pain. A stress test showed the pvcs but nothing else. I started doing a lot of research on the internet and am fairly certain what I experienced was coronary artery spasm. It occurred during a very stressful time and I am concerned it will happen again. If it doesn't stop there can be dire circumstances. I am afraid my primary care physician is not going to listen to me. I will be soon making a long red eye flight and think I should have some type of medication such as nitro in case this happens again during the flight. If the doctor will not refer me to a cardiologist what can I do? What are my rights as a patient? My dad was told he had no heart problems and he died of heart failure. I wonder if this could be an inherited trait. They say I am low risk for heart disease but what I understand is that coronary artery spasms can occur in people who have not heart disease.
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I think it's important to listen to your symptoms, but you shouldn't always fear the worst. Chest pain is really common and coronary artery spasm is not. It's extremely uncommon, far more uncommon than other CAD's.

Did you have the EKG done when you had pain? If you did, coronary artery spasm is really unlikely. How low was the bradycardia? Coronary artery spasm manifest on EKG with ST segment elevation, or in some cases depression.

Sharp throbbing pain isn't typical for heart disease. Muscle spasms, cramps and indigestion are far more common causes.

Yes, doctors can give a wrong diagnosis, but far more often they are right. Chest pain in young people is common, but only a few % of all chest pains are cardiac related. See my point?

You should stop self-diagnosing on the internet (trust me, it's no good, I've done my share of that). You can order an appointment with a cardiologist regardless of your PCP but it's a bit expensive. In my country approx NOK 4000 ($700) for a full examination with EKG, echocardiography and stress testing.

I don't think coronary artery spasms are related to heart failure.

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No, I didn't have an EKG during the pain because, as I said, it stopped before we got to the ER. I am not young. I am 58. The bradycardia was as low as 40 bpm and kept setting off the alarm.
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