British Heart Foundation
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Help understand 24 hour ecg results ahead of next hosptial appointment

Hey, so I'm new here. I'm an 18 year old with ongoing chest pain, faints and shortness of breath, so the latest diagnosis test to try and find the solution was a 24 hour ecg. My doctor said that my heart rhythm was fine, but the range jumped around (when I had pain spells it would speed up or slow down noticeably on the scale but I don't remember the numbers). I have no idea what this means, does it sound like its leading towards a diagnosis of why my heart can hurt so bad? Or does anyone even recognise my symptoms and have any suggestions of what it could be?

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Hi Amberrm. Sorry to hear about your condition. It must be difficult for you not knowing. The ECG is one of a number of different tests that can be done. I presume that your GP is referring you to a cardiologist to discuss the findings. If not do ask for a referral so that more comprehensive tests can be ordered if needed. However in the meantime you may like to phone the BHF helpline. They have cardiac nurses who can explain the different tests. I know it’s easy to say but try not to worry too much about what it may mean. Take care of yourself and seek further discussion with your doctor. Keep us posted. Zena x

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An ECG is just one tool of many potential tools that a cardiologist can use to determine if there is an issue or not. The ECG can point to electrical signal issues but it needs an expert to be able to interpret it (and most of us here are not experts). Ordinarily your GP will receive a summary of the ECG findings from a cardiologist. I’m afraid you will have to wait until that appointment for your answer on diagnosis.

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Hi Amberrm,

I am sorry to hear you are going through this difficult time and these symptoms. Your heart rate may increase when you experience pain, but I would check with your doctor to discuss the results. I would recommend asking your specialist if you need any additional tests and if you need any further management.

Another test they may consider includes an echo scan of the heart to check the structure or additional ECG tests.

Take care,

Emily

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