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Experiencing a slight tightness in the chest. ECG and BP normal. Could it be angina?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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I have been experiencing a slight tightness in the chest every now and then.
It's not uncomfortable , but I realise it .
I've had a 24 hour ecg plus a 24hour blood pressure check done but all come back
Ok .
Could it be angina.
Posted Tue, 18 Jun 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 22 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Yes, it can be angina. Typical heart ischemic symptoms are left side chest tightness, pain radiating to the left arm and/or jaw. Shortness of breath and fear of death are also characteristic. The pain is not localized (diffused).

Such pain usually appears with physical activity or stress. Some cases of angina can give symptoms spontaneously. To diagnose angina heart stress test and coronarography are necessary.

Other possible reason of chest tightness are acid reflux disease, gallstones or rib nerve compression.

Acid reflux disease usually gives symptoms after a meal, nausea can be present and upper middle abdominal pain.

Gallstones can give lower right chest pain or tightness, abdominal pain radiating to the back. Nausea also appears. The pain is triggered by fatty foods, spicy foods or alcohol.

Rib nerve compression can give pain anywhere in the chest. Such pain is sharp, well localized and aggravates while breathing (or moving the chest). Such nerve compression can be cased by local inflammation or spine disc herniation.

I suggest you to visit your doctor and depending which condition seems most probable you should have:
- stress test and coronarography if heart issue seems most probable
- abdominal ultrasound if gallstones are possible
- gastroscopy if acid reflux disease is most probable
- orthopedist consult and MRI if rib nerve issue seems to be it

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.

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