possible recurrent pericarditis or co... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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possible recurrent pericarditis or coronary artery spasm


I have been suffering moderate to bad chest pains for quite awhile. one hospital has diagnosed recurrent pericarditis another now has said it might be CAS.

my angiogram shows moderate diffuse artery problems which I was told are not bad enough to worry about. a jelly scan does not show any problems either BUT I keep getting pain I keep ending up in A and E because of pain and paramedics spot ECG problems on one lead.

I now have to wait three months to see a cardiologist, I am taking Colchicine, aspirin, Atorvastatin, Diltiaem, GTN spray, Lansoprazole and when needed Naproxen and Codeine.

Has anyone else had these or can give me some reassurance as I am alittle panicked and unsure about the future. I have been on colchicine for 4 months and Diltiazem for a week.

11 Replies

I'm afraid I don't know anything about either of those conditions (sure someone will be along soon enough who does!) but it's good that your symptoms are being properly investigated. It's absolutely natural to feel worried, everybody would, but the tests you've had have shown nothing to panic about and those in the know obviously feel it's safe for you to wait the three months. I'm sure it's pointless telling you not to worry and I'm sure these three months will feel like an eternity, but the hard facts are overall reassuring, you just need to keep reminding yourself of that.

If you would prefer to talk to someone before your appointment, you can always phone the BHF's Heart Helpline and speak to one of their nurses - 0300 330 3311 during office hours.

Best of luck :)

Thanks for the reply I did phone the BHF they suggested I might find someone in the community who has had similar.


Hi Andy - sorry to hear about the symptoms you're having. It can be a little difficult to tease out what's causing chest pain sometimes, but a more detailed scan like CT or MRI is usually helpful to diagnose pericarditis (if this is what you have). Diltiazem is a common drug we use for coronary artery spasms, so if this is the culprit hopefully it'll help relieve your pain.

In the meantime, if things change or get worse you'll need to let your GP know in case they want to tweak your medications or bring your appointment with the cardiologist forwards.

I hope this helps,


in reply to Hidden

Thanks for looking at my post. I suppose I just feel a bit out on a limb without definite answers.

skid112Heart Star

Hi there,

there is a thread here with a little bit more information healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

The recurrent pericarditis can be a right pain, my partners had it a few times and sometimes it lasts for over 5 months at a go with chest pain every day. I suppose the worst part of it is that the chest pain is so intense its really concerning and prompts you into going A&E where you will then be sent home with medications which don't always work!.

Its also very easy to panic when its heart related, every time my partner has a Palpitation with chest pain I am throwing on my clothes thinking it may be another hospital visit!. The main thing is you have had some tests and more importantly Angiogram and Jelly scan which I think is an Echo, which are both really good at spotting anything sinister.

The wait is indeed long to see a cardiologist, but if it was urgent they would have fast tracked your referral. The fact you have some diagnoses is a good thing, means you are not living so much with what if and what do I have. I know that its good to get reassurance by asking those questions with the cardiologist, but like most people you will walk out and have another load of questions.

Best thing to do is try not to panic, and remember if it was anything to be of a major concern A&E would spot it, I would say go with your gut and go A&E if its what your mind is telling you, but we did that based on my instinct and ended up in A&E about 8 times within a 2 month period the latest bout of pain ended up being GAS despite my protests to the Doc and me demanding every test under the sun.


This is exactly what has happened to me and my wife. It feels good to know I am not alone with this happening, I feel like I am going to have a heart attack just from the worrying and not knowing.

Hi, I have micro and macro spasms, and take Dilt, 30mg overnight nirorandil, GTN (copiously sometimes) along with other stuff, took a while to stop having the overnight nitrate headaches but, after three years or so am beginning to accept the drastic change in lifestyle and learning new ways of doing things. Been to A&E a lot but... mostly good experiences.... but it is a challenge, I haven't got used to the chest pain the feeling of doom and fainting etc but... so far so good. Good luck with your investigations and hope all goes well for you, don't fight it keep as active as you can but also rest when you need to...

thanks for the reply

I am only a year into my problems and I am beginning to realise that this is going to be a longer road than I thought. I will try to put a more positive slant on the treatment I have already had and look forward to eve3ntual recovery.

skid112Heart Star
in reply to andyphipps

You're doing well, it is a long process but you recognise that and you have got some sound advice. Keep us informed how it's going and good luck

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