Strange sensations in chest

Had pacemaker fitted in January for bradycardia and it alleviated dizziness etc (set to kick in at 50 bpm). Had some ongoing draining sensations in my chest some evenings (like ribcage being slowly tugged downwards) but mostly went away. When I mentioned at most recent pacemaker check up in September, they adjusted to 60 bpm. Was absolutely fine for 4 weeks with no symptoms at all then suddenly since last week, I now have strange sensations in my chest again. But they are far more regular, at various points in the day, going on for several minutes at times, and now feels more like a slight crushing sensation. Not dizzy or lightheaded, and no pain. It comes and goes whatever I might be doing, and is very worrying. Anyone have a similar sensation please?

6 Replies

  • Hi Sara,

    Yes, I have had these sensations....I assume it's lack of oxygen. I have bradycardia too and my PM was set to 50 bpm with a hysteresis of 20%. This means that the PM allows my own heart to "try" first and will let it get down to 40bpm before pacing me. This was too low for me, and I had the sensations you describe.

    It felt like my chest was folding in on itself and imploding slightly.

    I've recently had my pacing turned back up to 60bpm like you, with the hysteresis reduced to 10%. This means that the PM will allow my pulse to drop to 55bpm before pacing me. I had central chest discomfort initially and a couple of times since. The first time I went to A&E as I was worried like you. They did a troponin test and it was fine.

    I'd recommend getting any crushing feeling checked out. The feeling I had was discomfort and in the centre of my chest - bit like indigestion, but no burning feeling.

    It may be nothing and could be your PM adjustments and your reaction to this...but it's worth getting some reassurance and it only takes an hour out of your day. You could also track it and date/time the incidents and take the dates/times to your next appointment or ask for a sooner appointment if your next one is a way off yet. The techies can go to that exact time/date on the PM records and get an ECG which will show them if anything untoward was going on. But I'd get a crushing feeling looked at by A&E just to be safe first.

    Let me know how you get on...stay safe!


  • Thanks Missdiagnosis (great name BTW). This was incredibly reassuring, perhaps even more to my husband than me! :) Managed to get an appointment tomorrow to see my cardiologist at John Radcliffe so hopefully will get some answers.

  • Good idea!

    Take the dates and times that these "incidents" occurred with you. The techies will be able to see what was happening.

    I had palpitations and wrote down the date/time and got them verified that way, some 2 months later.

    Hope it goes well, and let us know that you're OK.


  • I saw my cardio specialist and he listened to my heart, did an echo, got me to have a chest xray and had a pacemaker check and all was fine. He is confident it is nothing dangerous but doesn't know what it is so I am going to have a day off and rest and see how things go. At least I am not in any danger, that is very reassuring.

  • Good news. Nobody knew what mine was either! They suggested anxiety....(that old chestnut!)

    Pleased you're OK. Take it easy.


  • Saw my GP today and you know what they said?... anxiety/stress! (that very old chestnut indeed!). But I don't see how it could be as my heart rate is generally rather slow when it happens and I've only had 5 instances of breathlessness which happens when I am moving around too much. Also sleeping fine, eating fine etc. So I insisted on blood test which he agreed to and have got that booked in for 10:50am today which is nice and quick so fingers crossed - not sure whether I want it to come back clear or not!

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