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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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I have a question about a situation I had several

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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6180 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I have a question about a situation I had several years ago but have never understood what exactly happened to me. I had two dogs who attacked another dog. I was attempting to break up a fight between them. It seemed to go on for a long time with me trying everything to get my dogs away from the other dogs. When it was finally over, I couldn't get up off the ground. I had a headache so intense I felt like I couldn't move. I went to the hospital and my blood pressure was very high, though I don't remember what it was. Because of the severe headache and high blood pressure I was admitted to the hospital. Around midnight the nurse came in and gave me nitroglycerin because she said my blood tests showed elevated cardiac enzymes. I didn't have a heart attack and there was no damage to the heart but I was in the hospital for over a week for treatment of the hypertension and acute head pain. I have always wondered why my cardiac enzymes were elevated when I did not suffer a heart attack. No one ever gave me any explanation why this happened. What other reason could cause elevated enzymes? I've been curious about this for years and never given an answer. I was about age 48 when this incident happened and have continued to have hypertension.
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome to Ask a Doctor service!

I passed carefully through your question and would explain that your symptoms seem to be related to high blood pressure, which can lead to uncontrolled headache (the beginning of hypertensive encephalopathy).

High blood pressure could be related to your physical and emotional effort, while trying to break up the fight.

I would like to know if you performed a brain CT scan during your hospitalization.

In my opinion, a brain CT scan or MRI has been necessary, considering your high blood pressure, the persistent headache and the fact that you felt leg weakness.

Regarding the high cardiac enzymes, you should know that cardiac enzymes are not specific only for the heart attack. In case of elevated cardiac enzymes, it is necessary to correlate the lab findings with the patients symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath) and ECG findings (typical changes of a heart attack), in order to conclude about possible myocardial ischemia.

The cardiac enzymes sometimes may result elevated even in the brain injury, such as brain swelling (hypertensive encephalopathy), due to high blood pressure values.

So, if there were no chest pain or ECG changes, it is less likely that these lab findings are related to the heart.

Nevertheless, if you experience chest pain or shortness of breath during physical straining, I recommend performing an exercise cardiac stress test, just to be sure that everything is OK.

Hope you will find this information helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Ilir Sharka, Cardiologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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