Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Suspected ASD/PFO
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Suspected ASD/PFO

Hi I am a 15 year old girl (turning 16) & I've been diagnosed of hving a small ASD when I was 13 years old. I've consulted 3 pediatric cardiologist & undergo different tests like X-ray, ECG, & 2D echo. all results were normal except the 2d-echo-- where they found a small hole in my heart. My first cardiologist prescribed me Lanoxin since I have symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain (at times), coldness, numbness, & stiffness. & lanoxin quiet helped me but my 3rd cardiologist said that it doesn't help me. she thought that i don't need any medicine because I only have small ASD & maybe I was just having those symptoms because of anxiety. So, my family migrated in UAE. I consulted another cardiologist. I had the same tests & again, it is a small ASD. My doctors dont hear any murmurs in my heart, my ECG and X-rays are normal but the 2d-echo. I had TEE too and again it is a small hole. and my dr. suspect it as a PFO. after dat, i didnt have any episodes.

Until I get back here in my own country alone & had another episode last 2 weeks ago. what happened is, I am with my friends and we were laughing while we climbed the stairs from ground floor to the 6th floor. when we reached the 6th floor, I am running out of breath which I find normal since my friends were catching their breaths too but for ten minutes, I was still trying to catch my breath & I find it really hard. so i told my friends about it. i had this chest pain too (from 1-10, I'll rate it 7). then I had this familiar feeling of coldness throughout my whole body especially my hands & feet until i became numb & stiff at the end. I cant move my whole body & still getting a hard time breathing & my friends told me that i was really, really pale during that time. i dont know how did I recover but i know that i tried to relax & after an hour its gone. i didnt tell my parents about because i dont want them to worry. & I havent been in cardiologist for 2 years. so, i just really need some answers.
Tags: ASD, PFO
773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Yasmi,

Although I cannot say exactly what is going on with you without evaluating you, I think that with 3 pediatric cardiologists telling you that you have a small ASD versus PFO, that is what you have.  A small defect does not cause problems with the heart, and 25% of all adults have a PFO.  So, then the question is what is going on with you?  I would need a lot more information about you to be able to tell.  The possible causes of this include anxiety, although I'm not as convinced, and also some relative dehydration.  I do recommend that you make sure that you are adequately hydrated, drinking 32-48 ounces of water or milk daily and having salty snacks, not skipping meals, and avoiding caffeine.  If you continue to have symptoms despite this, you should not be concerned about worrying your parents and just have them take you to a peds cardiologist who can help you with this.
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