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Mr. Strangeheart 06-13-2005 07:51 AM

Possible Connective Tissue Disease - Numerous Arrhythmias - Maybe V-Tac

I posted this message on the heart board but am striking out on responses so I thought I'd try posting it here:[/I]

It has been a while since I posted on here. I suffer from some type of undiagnosed auto-immune disease. It seems to have many characteristics of some type of connective tissue disease like lupus or scleroderma. I have had it now for four years but my blood tests are always normal. I have been diagnosed with raynaud's, a hyper-dynamiac heart, and heart arrhythmias but I have many other symptoms as well (esophagus spasms, slow emptying stomach, digestive problems, overall cold sensitivity, numbness, and many others).

Anyway, I have had heart arrhythmias since this all started 3 or 4 years ago and they just keep getting worse with time. I am on Toprol which has helped slow them down but the frequency and variety of different arrhythmias keeps increasing. Two years ago I wore an event monitor and all they caught was sinus tachycardia, SVT, PVC's and PAC's. Now I am wearing an event monitor and they have caught: sinus bradycardia, PAC's, atrial couplets, atrial triplets, atrial runs, wide complex tachycardia, PVC's, accelerated junctional rhythm PAC's, ventricular bigeminy, ventricular couplet, accelerated ventricular rhythm. My cardiologist says the wide complex tachycardia could be in fact ventricular tachycardia. Eeeeks! That is pretty scary - I though V-tach was BAD news but my doctors are downplaying it - especially since I had a normal echo a year ago and a normal stress test just the other day.

I am just wondering if there is anyone else out there who can relate to any of this - the variety of palpitations, the possible v-tac, and the autoimmune stuff.

Thanks. Hope to hear from you.

RCA 7591 06-14-2005 07:15 PM

Re: Possible Connective Tissue Disease - Numerous Arrhythmias - Maybe V-Tac
I have the very same issue, unfortunately, I can't give you an answer.

I was tested for just about everything, including all autoimmune diseases and Lyme. Nothing was positive.

One avenue you might consider looking into is Lyme, which can result in a positive ANA, along with heart problems. Aside from Lyme, ticks can transmit other co-infections, such as Babesia (Babesia causes many heart related symptoms)

I have went through the stress test and echo, just as you have, all normal.

For the tachycardia and arrythmia's, I take Atenolol. While it does slow down the heart rate, it doesn't seem to prevent the arrythmia's. For the past 8 months, Atenolol has probably kept me alive.

My symptoms all onset rapidly, for unexplained/unknown reasons. I was fine one minute, the next I was in the back of an ambulance. Do you have a similar experience?

Let me state exactly what happens to me during an "attack":

(1) Left side of face begins to go numb, for no apparent reason

(2) Shortness of breath sets in

(3) Pulse races out of control (up to 200 BPM frequently)

(4) Most of face goes numb, hands go numb and sometimes even clench up.

(5) A heavy sensation in center of chest.

Bloodwork doesn't reveal much. ANA is elevated, WBC is low, Cortisol levels are through the roof (18.6 for PM reading), TP is slightly elevated

Things that have actually helped: Doxycycline, Glucose tablets, and the Atenolol. Nothing else has any effect on the symptoms

The main two chronic symptoms for me are shortness of breath and tachycardia, all other are intermittent, and include vision problems, short term memory loss, dislexia, numbness, dizziness.

MS and ALS are also negative.


Mr. Strangeheart 06-15-2005 07:32 AM

Re: Possible Connective Tissue Disease - Numerous Arrhythmias - Maybe V-Tac
Thanks for responding Ryan,

So have you worn a monitor and "caught" what those episodes are? What type of tachycardia are they? Do you know?

My heart episodes are not like yours. Mine rarely cause any other symptoms other than a fluttering sensation. Once in a while I will get slightly short of breath or get a little light-headed.

I am concerned about one thing though. Two plus years ago I had two different echos where they noted some "hypokinesis" in the heart. I guess that means that it was not contracting or relaxing as much as it should. But then I had a second opinion on one of those echos and there was no such thing noted. Plus subsequent echos showed nothing like that although by that time I was on medications so who knows if that made a difference. I think it is time to get another echo just to be sure.

Thanks for mentioning the other diseases. I wish it were one of those but I simply have too many symptoms of some type of connective tissue disease. Most of my problems started when I developed raynaud's which is another indicator of CTD.

Thanks, and let me know what type of tachycardia and palpitations you are having - if you know.


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