Worrying heart tests

Hi all. 2 weeks ago, I had an ecg, which detected ectopic beats, which was the main reason I had one done, but it also questioned whether I’d had a recent cardiac event. I’ve had chest pain along with the palpitations, but nothing like I’d imagine a heart attack would feel like! 😐 Anyway an urgent 24hr ecg and echocardiogram were requested by my GP. The 24hr ecg I had done last week, and the echo this week. I had a cardiology appointment booked for 15th Dec to discuss results. However, I got a call on the afternoon of my echo, from my GP, asking me to go to the surgery straight away. When I got there, the GP said that my 24hr ecg showed abnormal beats and that I was to be seen urgently, the same day (although this was 4 days later!) The GP needed to check me over and ask how bad my chest pains were. I said they felt like a heavy crushing type pain, more of an ache really, so was told that was ok, but they needed me to see the cardiologist sooner. I got a call straight away for an appointment in a weeks time. Since then I purchased an oximeter. Tonight, and last night and throughout today, my pulse will be around 100-107, then suddenly drop down to 28. When this happens I feel faint, and my heart is pounding (I’d been getting those symptoms, but didn’t know why before the tests and oximeter. Anyway, I know I see the cardiologist now in just a few days, but am worried sick. Why could this be happening? Is it dangerous to be dropping that low? I’m a 45 year old female, and had always been very fit, up until 2 years ago, when I got arthritis in my spine, knees and ankles, and recently I’ve discovered I have high thyroglobulin antibodies, which I was told is Hashimoto’s. My other thyroid levels are middle normal range.

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Main thing now is not to panic. They are on it and will take care of you. When you go write a list of questions you have and remember to ask them so when you leave the appointment you are content. Get as much info from them as you can. Remember things happen in life and are not always predictable. Relax....yes i know how can you but try. And good luck.

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Thank you Andyman. I know worrying is probably the last thing I should be doing. It's so hard not to though isn't it. You're right, they are on it, so hopefully will have some answers and possibly a solution soon. I keep telling myself not to get stressed about it xx

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Hang in there

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Don’t stress too much you are on track to see the cardiologist who will tell you more

Just Hang in there and be positive

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Thank you both very much xx

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Hi, have you had a bad flue. The large differnece in your heart rate can be due to may things. There is a common disorder commonly missed called POTS. (Google it) There is a simple table tilt test to confirm THIS. POTS can occur after infection, when the autonomic nervous system become dysfunctional. Recovery in some can take a long time. Extra beats can have many origins, most benign. If they continue and are destroying your quality of life, ask for referral to a cardiologist. Worst case scenario,is that you can ask to have a simple little device called a loop inserted just under the skin at your shoulder (about the size of a small match box) these are in for about 2-3 years and almost definitely will catch anything sinister should that be the case. They do not detect symptoms of ischemia, but my detect a rhythm disturbance caused by it. Can also be very reassuring if nothing detected. GPS can aslo insert a cheaper version of the loop, but only a handful offer this marvelous little device. Good luck

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Hi, and thank you. I’ve had no flu, viruses or bad colds for a few years. Was referred to a cardiologist, who started me on bisoprolol, as he said such a heavy burden of ectopics could damage the heart. He also asked for me to have a heart MRI, but wanted to get the ectopics under control first, as they’d get a clearer picture then. Sadly, they have not controlled them, and I’m still having severe heart beat and blood pressure drops, which make me feel so giddy and faint, so the GP has reduced the bisoprolol again. Trouble is, I was having these drops before I started the meds. Anyway the MRI went ahead on Friday, and was told they were mainly looking for ARVC as the ecg and my symptoms pointed towards this. In the MRI paperwork it said results would be in 2 weeks. However, I was told afterwards, that the results would be much quicker, as they were speaking to my cardiologist whilst I was in the scanner, and that the report was being sent straight away. I don’t know whether they found anything, or whether it was because of my ectopic beats causing a problem (they did say during the scan that the mri didn’t like the extra beats). They wouldn’t tell me anything else. I suppose they can’t as it needs to be checked by the cardiologist. One thing, it surely couldn’t have been too bad as I’m sure they’d have sent me to a and e. That’s what I’m trying convince myself with anyway. Still haven’t heard so I’m guessing it wasn’t as urgent as they made it sound, and maybe it was just because of the ectopics. Hate playing the waiting game though x

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Hi, do you know if you are having sustained ectopic beats (sustained VT) or non sustained Ventricular tachycardia? ARVC was originally called ARVD the *D* meaning dysplasia, an ongoing disease process. I met the doctor who first described this disorder, a lovely kind French man called Guy Fontaine. He and a doctor called Frank Marcus. Thats a long story. Anyway your MRI. MRI has long acquisitions and cini imaging which is much slower than CT multislice, although both have there uses MRI is the better modality for structure and function, but ectopics or various arrhythmia can cause blurring and artifact. I also have a very good friend who was a consultant purely in CMRI who has recently retired. Im sure you have read about the criteria for ARVC and it'd normally easily spotted on good MRI imaging People do not know or understand how distressing and worrying ectopics can be. It important to find the reason if possible before anti arrhythmia drugs are prescribed. There are many good ones available, but as with any anti arrhythmia drug the can also cause arrhythmia. There is also ICD should the arrhythmia be deemed to be of a dangerious nature. I hope you get your results and especially some sort of explanation as to the underlying cause, as not knowing can also be as upsetting as the ectopics. Good luck 🤞

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Hi, it says as follows. A 12 lead demonstrated sinus rhythm at a rate of 86 beats pm, but frequent ventricular ectopic. During her normal beats, an RSR pattern was seen in V1-V3 with minor T-wave inversion. The ectopy was of a left bundle morphology and positive in leads 3 and aVF suggesting a potential right ventricular outflow origin. The echocardiogram demonstrated normal biventricular size and systolic function, with no obvious regional wall motion abnormalities but frequent ectopic throughout. Mild tricuspid regurtitation was noted with normal PA systolic pressures and only trivial mitral regurgitation was present. The 24hr Holter monitor showed a very high burden of ventricular ectopy, approaching almost 20%, with nearly 21,500 mostly unifocal VEs in 24 hours. There were 511 bigeminal and 112 trigeminal events. No episodes of venrcular tachycardia, triplets, couples or atrial fibrillation.

I would like to put her forward for a cardiac MRI scan given the ecg changes and morphology of her VE's to ensure she does not have an underlying cardiomyopathy, specifically ARVC. I think it would be worth suppressing the VE's, for the MRI to get good images, with a dose of beta blocker, as over a long period of time, such a high burden of ventricular ectopy can cause deterioration in LV function.

Every night I get awakened by what I can only describe a violent buzzing in my chest (normally I just feel fluttering, or thumping). Each time it does this I sweat, am extremely dizzy and light headed, and my heart rate goes from 104 (at it's highest) to 24 (at it's lowest). My beta blockers were reduced as they weren't suppressing the palpitations at all, but the funny turns at night continue. I was asked to check my blood pressure as well as my heart rate, and on Monday night, I took the bp monitor to bed, and am pleased I did. That night I fainted twice. I had a number of dizzy panicky spells that woke me, and I checked my bp and hr. Both dropped low. My hr to 24, albeit for brief periods each time, and my bp was 74/43. This happened around 4 times and on the 5th time, after sitting up in bed to get ready to take my bp, I fainted, hit my head and knees. When I got up, I checked my bp, and it was the same. I remembered once before that drinking helps bring it up, so poured a cup of water, then found myself on the floor again with a crushed water cup, and water everywhere. I checked my bp again and there was no change so I drank lots, which brought it up to 113/69, and I felt much better, although still a bit light headed. When I was running through all the bp checks, I noticed that the time between faints and subsequent bp checks was only 5 minutes, so I must have only been passed out for a few seconds. Scary though!

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Dear dear, I'm sorry to hear you are going through all this. Without doubt your doctor has ticked all the boxes. I would push for a quick MRI as this is the modality of choice for your ongoing heart issues. There are many good medications that may help in resolving many of the arrhythmia issues you are having. Also stabilising the associated hymodynamic problems you are having with BP etc etc. Good luck and I hope you get to the bottom of things ASAP.

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Thank you xxx

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