British Lung Foundation
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Pulmonary Hypertension

Dear All,

I am hoping that someone can advise or point me in the right direction with regard to symptoms that I have been experiencing for over 12 months.

I have a history of Pulmonary Embolisms (4 in total over the years) and DVT's in my right calf.

Following my latest episode of PE in November 2014, I have experienced significant chest pain and shortness of breath. There have been occasions when such symptoms have led to admission to A and E Departments, where the usual tests of Chest X Ray's, ECG's and CT Scans ensued, all negative for any condition.

I am currently under the care of the Cardiology team at my local Hospital and have had one echocardiogram to rule out Pulmonary Hypertension.

The latest diagnosis is costochondritis.

Over the past three days, my chest pain has become unbearable, blood pressure high, palpitations and erratic pulse, which saw me attend my GP for an ECG.

The first results were abnormal, with a repeat test revealing a normal result.

Whilst my GP is very good, she is convinced that anxiety and stress are contributing factors to my symptoms, and remains convinced that costochondritis is the true diagnosis.

Interestingly, two days after my ECG at my Doctor's, I was contacted by my local hospital to arrange for a 24 hour ECG monitoring program.

I also have a stress echocardiogram in January.

I know my own body and feel that the medics are currently 'missing something'. I feel that I am being misdiagnosed. I cannot sleep with the chest pain and movement is severely restricted.

Does anyone on the forum have any knowledge or experience that can assist my quest for peace of mind?

Many thanks!

6 Replies

Sorry, this is beyond my experience but being left in constant pain is not good. I know they have done ECGs but has anyone x-rayed your chest to check for anything other than your heart?

1 like

Did they say what causes your costochondritis ... I know my self when I look in mirror at my ribs just above my gut bits look thicker I know hyperinflation can cause trouble with ribs even breaks.

As to pain it is true will cause irregular heart beats .. as to fixes is hard one I use to be on beta blockers in early days they never worked as I had bad turn on them even talk of pace makers .. But that was before lung DX


I can imagine that with your past history of embolism any chest pains would worry you.

I was treated for a pulmonary embolism years ago, before scans were available here....injections into my stomach , but the chest pains were later diagnosed as pneumonia.

I googled costochondritis....its inflammation of the cartilage isn't it. I have had inflammation of the intercostal muscles and that was very painful.

Regarding your diagnosis of anxiety , have you been given any advice on how to alleviate it.....such as a talking therapy, relaxation exercises or meditation. .

I hope you find some answers soon...sorry I can't be of any more help.

Take care


Thanks for the responses.

Advice is that costochondritis can be caused by a virus or stress. Yes it is inflammation of the cartilage in my ribs. Very painful indeed!

Chest XRays have been clear so far.

My GP has been very good in providing advice for stress and anxiety.

I will keep you posted!

Many thanks for your caring responses!

God bless!


Hi Smythian. Did an echo rule out pulmonary hypertension? Have the doctors ruled out chronic thromboembolic disease? It often causes PH but not invariably. It is possible to have CTED without PH. What is the evidence of costochondritis? The reason that I am concerned is that it seems quite similar to my situation. I am happy to tell you my story via PM if that would be easier.

All the best and tell us what happens.

K xxx


Hi Katinka46,

Thank you for your response.

I feel that the diagnosis of costochondritis is based upon a 'best fit' of symptoms. Certainly nothing conclusive!

My echocardiogram was negative for PH but even the Doctor who carried it out advised that this particular test is not decisive and that many patients who have negative echos do indeed have PH. It is the most misdiagnosed condition, apparently.

I would be most interested to hear your story. How do we arrange a private email conversation?

Many thanks for taking the time to respond!


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