ZocdocAnswersHeart spasms - what causes them?

Question

Heart spasms - what causes them?

My dad has heart "spams"...no pain, just his heart feels like it is having a spasm. It happens a couple times a day. He only has one main artery left in his heart (which they put a stint in) due to him going in for his heart's spasms...afterwards they went away but are not back and drs. don't have an answer for him as to why... Certain medicines causing this? He does have polio (got when he was 17 yrs old and it now reaching almost 70. PLEASE tell me how much this is a concern and causes for it. A "spasm" feeling in his heart...no other symptoms; no pain.

Answer

These symptoms are very concerning. Your father has a very significant history of heart disease, and we know that he already has very bad narrowing of his coronary arteries. Therefore, any heart related symptoms, such as pain or spasms could be a sign that that narrowing is getting worse and that he is not having good blood flow to his heart muscle. Therefore, I think it is very critical that he gets in to see his cardiologist immediately for an evaluation. If he cannot get in right away to see his cardiologist, then it would be appropriate to go to an emergency room for a more rapid evaluation. His cardiologist will want to run some tests, including an electrocardiogram and some bloodwork, looking for any evidence of a heart attack. Even if those tests are negative, he may need a repeat cardiac catheterization to look at the flow of blood in his coronary arteries and determine whether or not he needs another intervention (like a stent) to open them back up. The important message is that it is critical for him not to wait and see what happens, but rather to seek medical evaluation as soon as is humanly possible.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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