It's possible, so your twin brother and you should see a doctor ASAP and get it thoroughly checked out.
Angina pectoris, also known simply as chest pain. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullnesss, squeezing or painful feeling from coronary heart disease.
Often it can be mistaken for indigestion. Angina is usually felt in the chest, but may also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw or back
From the American Heart Association
Unstable angina or sometimes referred to as acute coronary syndrome causes unexpected chest pain, and usually occurs while resting. The most common cause is reduced blood flow to the heart muscle because the coronary arteries are narrowed by fatty buildups (atherosclerosis) which rupture causing injury to the coronary blood vessel resulting in blood clotting which blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
Unstable angina should be treated as an emergency......
Additionally here, chest/thoracic area ache or pain, stationary or radiating elsewhere, with or without accompanying symptoms, has various causes, cardiac and non-cardiac, which includes, but is not limited to, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and psychological/psychogenic.
Also, of the various types/kinds of heart conditions, symptoms may/can be acute (occurring suddenly), be chronic (occurring over a long period of time), come and go (be transient, fleeting or episodic) or even be silent.
The chest contains many muscles, bones, tendons, and cartilage and strains or sprains to any of these may/can can cause chest pain. Chest pain associated with musculoskeletal injury is typically sharp and confined to a specific area of the chest.
The pain may/can be brought on by movement of the chest and/or arms into certain positions, and often is relieved by changing position.
The pain may/can be triggered off by pushing on part of the chest and often become worse when taking a deep breath. Though the pain typically last only seconds, it may/can also persist for days or longer.
If/when chest pain increases when you press your finger on the painful site, or if you can pinpoint the spot that hurts, it is most likely chest wall-related pain, which may/can be caused by strained muscles or ligaments or even by a fractured rib.
"I still cannot breathe normally, causing me to get out of breath very, very easy"
"I feel like I have a tight belt around my chest"
Noteworthy, as applicable to the patient, there is a well-known but seldom discussed/talked about complication post-bypass, phrenic nerve dysfunction or damage (dependent on the technique used to access the heart), which affects the diaphragm and breathing.
If/when this is the proven particular case, it can take some time for the problem to completely resolve, and in some instances, unfortunately, never resolve completely.
My father had difficulty breathing (which not only caused great anguish in him but in my family too) the days he spent in the hospital post-quad bypass. An astute cardiac care unit (CCU) nurse had tipped me off about the possible phrenic nerve connection.
It took a few months for my father to breathe normally again, and after the horrendous mind-altering side effects from some of the prescription drugs he was taking post-bypass (about a dozen) had subsided (as the drugs were systematically discontinued as authorized by his doctors), he went back to working full-time in a plumbing store.
The whole disease is poorly understood in women, from the expression of the symptoms all the way down to some of the basic mechanisms. The disease has a very broad spectrum, and more men are at one side and more women are at the other side.
L@@K back - Media
WebMD Health archives
NEWS FOR WOMEN: Heart Attack Symptoms May Be Different Than You Think - 11/9/01
It is reported that many females experience warning signs/symptoms a month or two in advance. In descending order of occurrence, they are unusual tiredness or fatigue, sleep disturbance, dyspnea, indigestion, anxiety, racing heart and weak/heavy arms. During actual heart attacks, symptoms reported in females, in descending order were dyspnea, weakness, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness, nausea and weak/heavy arms. _ . _
"Heart disease is by far the number one killer of women in America. Every year, it takes the lives of half a million women, many had no prior symptoms and many others had symptoms that were unrecognized or undiagnosed."
- Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine/Cardiology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University
Women & Coronary Artery Disease
60% of women who die suddenly (sudden cardiac death) from CAD have no previous symptoms. Women are less likely to notice they have a heart problem. Women with heart disease often have symptoms different from men, instead of classic chest pain or pressure (angina pectoris), they may report dyspnea, fatigue, indigestion and anxiety. Making an accurate diagnosis of heart disease in women is often more challenging than it is in men.
Hi: "I was told I have a dilatation at the aortic root, already at 4.54 cm (as of March)"
Aortic Root** (Diastole)
2.0 - 3.7 cm
**The aortic root measurements should be corrected for body surface area. Hence a root size of 3.8 cm in a tall individual may be normal but a 3.6 cm root may be enlarged in a very small individual.
Additionally, according to a cardiologist from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic via medhelp.org forum archives, surgery is usually considered at about 5 cm but possibly before if it is enlarging, as evidenced by serial echocardiograms spaced 6 months apart.
For those unfamiliar, the aortic root is the opening at the junction between the heart chamber and the aorta. The root is characterized by a encircling band of firm fibrous tissue (the annulus) and the leaflets of the aortic valve.
"The cardiologist I saw did not inspire tons of confidence."
"Should I seek a second opinion? Maybe do the MRI sooner?
Do feel free to seek a second opinion, even if it turns out being only to get some peace of mind in the particular matter.
Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.
WebMD member (8/99)
LEARN ABOUT the Heart
The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems
"mild reduction in uptake in the distal anterior wall and apex" "suggestive of mild ischemia in the distal left anterior descending artery territory"
"Coronary calcification noted within......"
In general-only here, the two main concerns regarding a nuclear (PET or SPECT) stress test involves an actual (not a false image or artifact) narrowing or scarring, that is, the findings of reversible (ischemia) or non-reversible (fixed, permanent, scar tissue) perfusion (blood flow) defects.
The patient's cardiologist may take some time to study the results of the scan before discussing the findings, and PLEASE NOTE: the patient's cardiologist is obligated to fully-explain the findings from any diagnostic imaging test.
One can typically expect one of the following four results -
No perfusion defect after exercise or at rest
The heart muscle and blood flow to the heart muscle appear to be normal.
Perfusion defect after exercise, but not at rest (REVERSIBLE DEFECT)
There is some degree of blockagein a coronary artery that interferes with the blood flow to the heart muscle. In someone with significant heart disease, when the heart works hard, it does not get the blood supply and oxygen that it needs (a supply 'n demand mismatch).
At rest, however, the blood adequately reaches these areas or regions, e.g., ANTERIOR/ANTERO (front wall), POSTERIOR/POSTERO (back wall), INFERIOR/INFERO(lower area/lower wall area),SEPTAL/SEPTUM (dividing wall), APICAL/APEX (bottom tip of the heart) and LATERAL (side wall).
The heart muscle has living cells/tissue in these areas. This indicates that clearing the blockage in the affected artery will be of benefit.
Perfusion defect AFTER exercise AND at rest (**fixed defect)
There is one or more totally blocked coronary arteries and one has had damage done to the heart muscle because of aheart attack.
There is an area/areas of the heart muscle that has become scar tissue (scarring, scarred) because of the heart attack.
This area would not be able to make functional use of any oxygen even if blood flow to that area of the heart were completely restored.
Combined reversible and fixed defects
It is common for individuals with coronary artery disease to have different degrees of blockages in different arteries.
A heart attack has left a fixed defect in one area of the heart, but there is a reversible defect in another area of the heart due to a less severe blockage.
http://www.heartsite.com/html/lad.html Calcification (as seen on CT imaging or X-ray) is described as an organized, regulated process similar to bone formation that occurs only when other aspects of atherosclerosis/plaque buildup are also present
WebMD - ARCHIVES
Calcium in Arteries May Predict Heart Risk
Study Shows a Calcium Score May Be Helpful Tool in Predicting Heart Disease - April 27, 2010
Hi: "I will get very lightheaded and a weird "butterfly-like" feeling in my chest"
"Should I be worried?"
Yes of course. Do make an appointment with a doctor promptly.
As applicable, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), described that the heart is flip-flopping, fluttering (butterfly-effect), jumping, pausing or stopping briefly (though it's actually not doing that), pounding, skipping, thumping, or strong, hard or forceful beats being felt in the chest, neck, throat, has various causes or triggers, cardiac and non-cardiac in origin. As reported, PVCs are typically harmless, though they may/can cause additional symptoms.
Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.
"I know his body has been through a lot in the last month."
"He does not have much appetite."
"This morning he woke up not feeling very bright, feels listless, lethargic and depressed"
Well, besides *depression, which is common post-heart attack and/or brain attack (stroke), reduced mental status/alertness, decreased or loss of appetite, listlessness and lethargy may/can be caused by side effects from prescription drugs (*which may/can also lead to depression as well).
Anything is possible today, especially if the patient has conditions as you listed, valvular regurgitation (heart valve leakage) and end-stage renal (kidney) failure. Slurred speech and becoming disoriented has various causes, which includes possible side effects/adverse reactions from drugs and brain attack (stroke),