View Full Version : Important question

10-20-2007, 09:33 PM
I have read in some books about lupus that chest pain and shortness of breath are symptoms of lupus. Is that implying that the chest pain and shortness of breath is caused by a heart problem related to lupus(like pericarditis) or are those symptoms just things that happen in lupus and could have nothing to do with the heart?
I've had both of those symptoms, had a chest xray, EKG, and echocardiogram. Chest xray and EKG showed normal, but echocardiogram results haven't come back yet.
So what is the cause of the chest pain and shortness of breath in lupus patients? The lupus, or the heart problems/lung problems sometimes associated with it?
Thanks! :D

10-21-2007, 05:17 PM
Gisele, many things can cause chest pain and shortness of breath. Sounds like you're getting the right tests. Pericarditis could be the cause, but it's really not a 'heart problem' exactly. It's an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. You can read about it at this link to the Mayo Clinic website (there are lots of other sources, too.) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pericarditis/DS00505

The Lupus Foundation of America also has a lot of information about lupus symptoms. http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html

I hope the docs have some answers for you soon.


10-24-2007, 07:37 PM
Thanks, mnjodette, for your reply!!

Can you still have pericarditis and have it not show up on an echo, chest xray, or EKG?

Everything was normal, except my echocardiogram said that my mitral valve leaflets were mildly thickened. What does that mean? No one seemed too concerned about that. Should I worry about it and see a cardiologist or something? When that says thickened, does it imply inflamed?

10-25-2007, 12:04 AM

I don't if these will help or hinder but I did a google for you...regarding "Mitral valve leaflets midly thickening".

Do ask questions when you are unclear when you see something you are unconcerned about while at the doctors. Or even request he call you at home. I did that once last week and once this week.



I have an ECHO on November 7, for possible pericarditis..I will let you know how it goes. I had a chest x-ray showed nothing, not even pleurisy. I added it to my "What is it list".

Maybe costochondritis? My PCP suggested that, my Rheumatologist said pleurisy, PCP, said nope not pleurisy...so even having a diagnose of SLE we still take a ride on the merry-go-round. With a autoimmune diagnosis, being on the merry-go-round doesn't make me dizzy anymore. I just settle in for the ride and I'm already aware what lies ahead. So, then it isn't such a bad ride and I do what I can to make it more manageable...

Remember you don't need a specific diagnose to treat yourself with TLC. Just follow what we do, or your reads for self care. The usual, sleep, eats, stress...you know...

Right now I have insomnia...3AM..yikes. Must be the new drugs. Maybe I can catch the repeat of Jay Leno...

Hope you slept well..stop stressing..breathe.. :crazyeyes:

Let me try this sleep thing again..night,

10-26-2007, 06:51 PM
Pericarditis is tricky. It has the same symptoms as some other things, so it can be mistaken for other things. One of the things that I experienced (and it's pretty classic for pericarditis) is a lessening of the pain if I leaned forward; a worsening of the pain if I reclined or leaned back. (That's the rubbing of the pericardium.) Sometimes the rubbing is clearly audible when a doctor listens to your chest. The thing that can cause complications is a build up of fluid and that's what they'll be looking for. If there's a lot of it, they'll need to drain it. I was lucky - I had fluid build up, but never enough to need draining. Hope all gets resolved, Gisele and Oluwa.

10-29-2007, 12:42 AM
hey there! i have the same thing, and it's called pleurisy when it's not the other stuff (pericarditis and such, although i get that too when i;m flaring really badly). here's some info about it from webmd http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-pleurisy-basics

i hope this helps! be well :wink:


10-29-2007, 08:59 PM
Thanks, Oluwa, mnjodette, and angela for all the information and your replies! :D
I still don't know what has been causing this chest pain and shortness of breath, yet. Pleurisy has been crossed out since my xray came back normal, pericarditis has been crossed out I think since all three came back normal. Costchondritis, like you mentioned Oluwa, was something I was reading about the other day, and I think it might be possible. At my first rheumy visit today, he pressed on joints, and the area that hurt the worst was when he pressed by my heart area. So maybe it is joint related and not heart related. Also, with the mitral valve thickening, when asked if it could be inflammation, he said yes. He also said it's nothing to worry about. He also mentioned that mitral valve prolapse.
Oluwa, let us know what your tests say!
Thanks everyone!