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    Old 01-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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    Cardiac exams for a pregnant woman with rapid heart beat


    I am 33 years old, 1.61 cm/49 + 6 (prenancy) kg, 17 weeks of my second pregnancy. Since the begining of this pregnancy I've been experiencing rapid and strong heart beats that vary from 86-120, while at rest (siting at my desk or lying in bed). The beats feel stronger when lying, doesn't matter on my left or right. I am not sure about my chest symptoms. I feel some disconfort in the left side and sometimes several short pains that come and go for a second, out of the blue, while siting, usualy in work meetings. But I think they are in the breasts and not in the chest. No really significant or unexpected shortness of breath.

    In my first pregnancy I don't remember having significant palpitations before the final month, neither having breasts or chest disconfort of pain. About 3 months before starting the current pregnancy I had episodes of strong and rapid heart beats at rest (100-120) and while climbimg stairs my heart would go up to 180-220 in 1 min and I would feel short of breath. I got so panicked that one day almost fainted at work and ended up in ER, but there everything was normal. After an EKG, chest x-Ray and blood tests, the conclusion of my GP was that the palpitations were caused by a combination of low iron, stress and a virus. I've been taking iron since then and it has a fine level now. My stress is lower after a one month vacation but I have family and personal history of recurring depression and I am not fully recovered from my last one.

    I have had episodes of palpitations during anxiety situations for all my life. Also, my heart always increased rapidly to high rates during exercise or exertion even when I was in my best fitness, doing phisical activities 3-4 times a week, including running 4 km once a week. It is been more than a year I do not exercise regularly.

    I don't think I really have a heart disease but I want to do all the exams and not only the basic ones. I read a lot about heart issues and there is one almost benign called Mitral Valve Prolapse that cannot be detected by the exams I did. This issue is usually harmless and would explain palpitations. The main reason I want to know if I have it is because it presents risks of infection in the heart during delivery. Such an infection could lead to a serious damage of the heart and unavoidable need of heart transplantation.

    My OB referred me to a cardiologist and I have an appointment this wednesday. My recent EKG shows 86 bpm whie lying. According to the web this is normal for pregnant woman, but the nurse said my pulse was really strong and high. I am afraid the cardiologist will not take me seriously like my GP and won't prescribe the required exam (echocardiogram). What should I tell her? Also, which exams I should avoid doing as I am pregnant?

    Thanks a lot,

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