Respiratory Disorders Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Tight feeling in chest with the sensation of difficulty breathing

Hello, 35 yr old male here.  About 5 years ago, I had my first run of PVC's (first irregular beats I ever felt) and I immediately developed a chronic, tight, "pulling" feeling in my chest that is nearly always present and is NOT worsened by exercise, including intense exercise and weight lifting (which I do regularly).

This tight, pulling, very annoying sensation in my chest is associated with the feeling that my chest seems inflexible and I have to struggle to breath deeply, and it is also a predictor to me that my PVC's are going to act up.

There came a time after a few years that all the symptoms went away with regular exercise - no more tight chest at all, and very few PVC's.  In fact, I have just now gone almost 2 years with barely a skipped beat to speak of and no tightness in my chest.

Until last week.  I recently had blood in my urine, and was given a CT scan which found a small non-painful stone.   The timing of the CT scan with contrast and the return of my symptoms (tight chest, tight throat, tight upper stomach, PVC's) seems remarkable.  But, at the same time, I was also a bit stressed about the blood in my urine and found myself seeking stress relief by upping the intensity of my weight lifting around the same time.  

I can change positions of my arms, my body, etc.  and the feeling in my chest changes as well, some postitions give me better relief, but some postions will set off a very hard PVC.   Nothing helps me feel like I can breath more freely though.   Being honest, I also noticed a slight increase in heartburn as well, but I can't believe that would be the cause.

In the past, a stress echo, chest X-ray, EKG, emergency room visits, etc, all ruled out serious issues.  And also, just last week, as I said, I did have an abdominal and Pelvic CT scan so at least the bottom half of my chest was incidentally imaged.  Could CT dye cause this?
1 Responses
242587 tn?1355427710
The information you have provided suggests that you are one very healthy, physically fit young man.  That the discomfort, “tight/pulling”, of your chest is not worsened by “intense exercise” and that it varies with position, strongly suggests that there is a musculoskeletal component to it.  While it is possible, perhaps even likely, that these symptoms have been associated with PVC’s it would be most unlikely, especially given your level of conditioning, that the PVC’s are the cause of your symptoms.  In addition, the fact that you were symptom-free for two years, along with the extensive cardiac-specific testing you’ve had, makes any progressive disease extremely unlikely.

Adverse reactions to the dye given in conjunction with your CT are not uncommon, but they are almost always transient.

You state, “Nothing helps me feel like I can breathe more freely though.”  If you have not had pulmonary function tests performed, that would be appropriate in pursuit of a cause for “chest tightness”.  The only other possibility that comes to mind, one not ruled out by the testing you’ve had would be 72 hour ambulatory cardiac monitoring, to address the possibility that you may be having an abnormal heart rhythm, other than frequent PVC’s.

Good luck
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.