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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes sudden electric shock feeling in the chest area?

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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6061 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 3 Mar 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I feel a sudden sharp shock in my heart. It is only momentary but quite hard and leaved the chest area feeling sore. It happens 2 - 3 times a day. it is a very nasty feeling. is it damaging my heart ? I am 74 year old woman. I take medication for irregular heartbeat. thankyou.
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would recommend as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

Regarding your concern, I would explain that your symptoms are not typical of a cardiac disorder (coronary artery disease).

Is the pain triggered by body movement or deep breathing? This would be indicative of an extracardiac cause (musculo-skeletal pain, inflammation, pleuritis, pericarditis, etc.).

An extracardiac cause would not cause any damage to your heart.

Anyway, considering your age and the fact that you suffer from cardiac arrhythmia, I would recommend consulting with your attending physician for as physical exam and some tests:

- a resting ECG and a cardiac ultrasound
- a chest X ray study
- complete blood count for anemia or infection
- PCR, ESR for inflammation
- cardiac enzymes for possible evidence of myocardial ischemia
- a cardiac stress test to investigate for myocardial ishemia.

You should discuss with your doctor on the above issues.

Feel free to ask me again whenever you need!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 16 hours later
Thankyou for your answer. The sudden stabbing pain over my heart area is very sharp. It can happen when I am sitting quite still. Could it be the electricity in my heart ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
My answer as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

The sharp pain in this region, is not typical of any heart disorder.

The heart electricity is not perceived like pain. Disorders affecting the cardiac conductance system (heart electricity) can cause cardiac arrhythmia, but not chest pain.

Although your symptoms occur during sitting, they could be related to respiration, which indicates an extra-cardiac cause (pleuritis, pericarditis, costochondritis, etc).

That is why I would recommend performing the above recommended tests (chest X ray, resting ECG and inflammation tests).

If these tests result normal, you should perform some other cardiac tests (cardiac ultrasound and cardiac stress tests).

You should discuss with your doctor on the above issues.

Meanwhile, I recommend trying ibuprofen for the pain. If it helps relieve the pain, this would be indicative of inflammation (the above mentioned disorders) as the main underlying cause of your symptoms and would exclude any cardiac causes.

Hope to have been helpful!

Wishing all the best,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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