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What causes shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and nail splintering?

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Posted on Wed, 23 Jul 2014
Question: I think I may have subacute bacterial endocarditis. I have shortness of breath, tightness in my chest, and possibly could be from a bridge I had installed in November of 2013. Since then I have had a salty tase in my mouth as well as the other symtoms listed above. XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Possible, cardiac ultrasound and clinical review m

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query,

Shortness of breath and nail splintering can be seen of course in bacterial endocarditis. However, this is a condition, usually occurring in persons with particular risk factors. These are generally very elderly and persons with diseases heart valves.

The first and utmost important step in the diagnosis, after a clinical suspicion is a cardiac ultrasound. This shall show for show the state of the valves. Shortness of breath sets in when the valves are too ill, when the muscles supporting the valves rupture and in case heart failure, a common complication of complication disease becomes present.

A proper clinical review is needed. It is very important to check for a heart murmur on auscultation. Its presence is very suggestive of sub acute endocarditis. Changes in the nail color and shape, coupled with abnormal bleeds are generally also seen.

It is only after a proper clinical examination, a cardiac ultrasound and at times a chest X ray to see any repercussions on the lungs that a diagnosis od sub acute endocarditis can be made.

Blood tests like a C reactive protein, a marker of acute bacterial inflammation and cultures could be very useful.

I suggest you book an appointment with an internist/cardiologist for a proper clinical review. It is possible you could have this condition, but the opinion of a doctor and exams are needed.

Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3092 Questions

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What causes shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and nail splintering?

Brief Answer: Possible, cardiac ultrasound and clinical review m Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, Shortness of breath and nail splintering can be seen of course in bacterial endocarditis. However, this is a condition, usually occurring in persons with particular risk factors. These are generally very elderly and persons with diseases heart valves. The first and utmost important step in the diagnosis, after a clinical suspicion is a cardiac ultrasound. This shall show for show the state of the valves. Shortness of breath sets in when the valves are too ill, when the muscles supporting the valves rupture and in case heart failure, a common complication of complication disease becomes present. A proper clinical review is needed. It is very important to check for a heart murmur on auscultation. Its presence is very suggestive of sub acute endocarditis. Changes in the nail color and shape, coupled with abnormal bleeds are generally also seen. It is only after a proper clinical examination, a cardiac ultrasound and at times a chest X ray to see any repercussions on the lungs that a diagnosis od sub acute endocarditis can be made. Blood tests like a C reactive protein, a marker of acute bacterial inflammation and cultures could be very useful. I suggest you book an appointment with an internist/cardiologist for a proper clinical review. It is possible you could have this condition, but the opinion of a doctor and exams are needed. Dr Bain