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Asthma possibly masking heart problem/hole in the heart

Hi everyone,

I'm just needing to write this down and empty my brain!! I saw the consultant on Monday and following lots of lung function tests/ chest ct scan etc I was told one of my blood gases are low which is what has been causing my problems over the last 8 months and they don't know the cause. I am now going to have tests on my heart because they think this may be causing the problem including checking for an undetected hole in the heart. They are also going to check for a small long standing clot on my lungs which would not necessarily show on the ct scan and pulmonary angiogram i have had and were clear. He also mentioned a couple of other tests i will have.

I guess what i am finding strange is to think my problems over the last 24 years (on and off) may be attributed to something separate from my asthma.

Life at the moment is a real physical struggle, with showering/dressing/housework and any walking causing shortness of breath. But also short of breath on resting too at times and still getting asthma sympoms! (And i live in a hilly town and have to walk 1.5 to 2 miles to work). Luckily my work is not physical, more mental but i know i couldn't keep up this effort past this academic year.

I am wondering if anyone on here has had similar experiences?

Thanks for reading,

Jac xx

10 Replies

hi, i got sent for heart tests also as they said lungs and heart make us breath. I had a problem on right side of heart and bigger but said wouldnt cause me to much of a problem and just boarder line at the moment and not the cause for my breathing. Try not to worry they are covering their backs and is what they do to help rule things out. i had a ultrasound scan on my heart xxx


Hi glynis,

i don't think i am worrying too much, it's just the whole mental shift and all of the what ifs and what next! I will be having the tests over the next 4 - 6 weeks so not long to be patient! An ultra sound on my heart is one of them. He also mentioned a test to check how the gases are moving around my body but didn't say what that was. As i have written on here before, my asthma has never fitted into the 'classic' asthma and maybe they will soon find out why asthma medications don't usually solve my breathing problems.

Jac xx


hi jf,

think your other test could be a blood gass blood test,they take blood

from your wrist deep in to artery and tells them your oxygen in the blood.

its a bit uncomfortable and takes a little bit for the needle get the right spot.

Had one or two in AnE.

Hope the tests go well for you xxxx


Thanks Glynis,

I hadn't heard of that test, thanks for the info in the pm too. I'm off to work now but shall read it through slowly tomorrow! xxx


I've had a 72 hr ecg and echocardiogram (ultrasound) as blood gases were low and heart rate elevated on one admission. Mine was thought to be due to the Phyllocontin but not 100% sure. Tests were ok. They just like to rule out causes and at leadt you'll know mothing has been missed. Good luck with the tests. Take care.


Thanks flowerfairy,

I am relieved they are checking things thoroughly and hoping for some answers!



Hope that turns out ok for you. Still don't know if I have asthma, but they did some heart tests on me on the same principle (ECG, 24-hour ECG, echo/ultrasound) - all normal, though apparently I can get up to an impressive rate of over 170 bpm when running for trains! I also had a ventilation/perfusion (VQ) scan which sounds like what you mentioned, to check for clots - also normal (if they let you, which they may not, take an iPod or something, it's pretty boring). Never had the blood gases test though.

As people have said imagine they're being cautious - but good luck with it all!


Hi Philomela,

Thanks for your reply. The ventilation/perfusion scan sounds a possibility, i haven't heard of it before. Have had the first appt through for a bronchoscopy (he didn't mention that one but it makes sense). I am glad they are being so thorough.

Just trying to be patient now! lol



Sorry to hear about your problem at the moment.

I can say though that my son has a heart murmur that is coursed by a leaky intake volve which is always worse when e is having issues with his asthma. It is a nightmare and because it is not coursing him daily issues they are leavign it for now until it becomes a really big porblem.

Good luck with your tests and hope they find out what is coursing you all these problem


Thank you asthma family.

I just want to repeat what many people have said already that i think the people on this site are fabulous. I don't know how i would have managed over the last almost 9 months without my daily forum fix! I know i would have felt a lot more stressed, anxious and isolated (and less knowledgeable).

Thank you everybody! xxx

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