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28 Nov 2011

Muscle bridge
My complaints were: always tired, chest pains shooting down my arms, jaw pain and palpatations. Had an angiogram which showed a muscle bridge. Was told that my symptoms could be explained because of this diagnosis. My question is: how serious is this conditions, and should I be concerned about it? I do have hypertension, diabetes, and a high cholesterol (treatment for all of those)
Thank you
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Expert
Cardiologist
Cardiologist

01 Jan 0001

Hi Elizabeth. You don’t mention how old you are, but being a diabetic and having high blood pressure and high cholesterol you are at higher risk than other women your age for coronary disease. However, it sounds as though the only possible “abnormality” on your angiogram was a muscle bridge. We should remember that a muscle bridge is something that you were born with. This being the case, it is highly unlikely to be responsible for the symptoms that you now have. After all, you presumably did not have the same symptoms when you were younger! Muscle bridges have very little effect on coronary blood flow, as contraction of the heart muscle in the muscle bridge would only affect flow during the contraction phase of the heart cycle, whereas blood flow to the heart muscle almost all occurs during the relaxation phase of the heart cycle. My advice would be to look for another cause for the symptoms that are troubling you, instead of blaming them on a muscle bridge. After more than 25 years in cardiology, I can’t remember ever seeing a patient whose symptoms were genuinely due to a muscle bridge, or who came to any harm as a result of a muscle bridge.

Best wishes. JT
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