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Is a sudden onset of shortness of breath a cause for concern despite normal EKG results?

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Posted on Wed, 22 Aug 2018
Question: I have sudden shortage of breath for a minute or 2, w/ no exercise. also a suddenly feeling like my heart is stopping, , also disappears within a minute. About every 3 days on average. EKG showed nothing. Otherwise in good health, I exercise with cardio, have controlled moderate HBP and some high LDL issues, both with meds. I eat healthy. What could it be? YYYY@YYYY
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Arrhythmia?

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Sudden onset of heart-related symptoms that wear off and leave a normal EKG behind sounds like an arrhythmia. Arrhythmia start suddenly but they may also terminate suddenly. The history of hypertension is consistent with an arrhythmia particularly if your heart already has structural changes (like hypertrophy).

Another - less likely - scenario is panic attack which may present with the same symptoms but it usually won't wear off after a couple of minutes only.

I can't think of anything else... A 24h Holter EKG study may provide additional clues. I don't believe that the CXR will help.

I hope you find my comments helpful!

Take care.

Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis, Internal Medicine Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3737 Questions

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Is a sudden onset of shortness of breath a cause for concern despite normal EKG results?

Brief Answer: Arrhythmia? Detailed Answer: Hello, I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. Sudden onset of heart-related symptoms that wear off and leave a normal EKG behind sounds like an arrhythmia. Arrhythmia start suddenly but they may also terminate suddenly. The history of hypertension is consistent with an arrhythmia particularly if your heart already has structural changes (like hypertrophy). Another - less likely - scenario is panic attack which may present with the same symptoms but it usually won't wear off after a couple of minutes only. I can't think of anything else... A 24h Holter EKG study may provide additional clues. I don't believe that the CXR will help. I hope you find my comments helpful! Take care. Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis, Internal Medicine Specialist