ZocdocAnswersWhat is it if someone has a knot on or around their heart?

Question

What is it if someone has a knot on or around their heart?

My grandmother has Alzheimer's and is a diabetic, in the ER with chest pain.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that your grandmother is having some health problems. Given her age and medical history it is a very good thing that she is in the Emergency Room for further evaluation. One of the most concerning causes of chest pain is a heart attack, and older patients as well as those with diabetes are known to have elevated rates of the coronary artery disease that can lead to a heart attack or anginal chest pain. In order to determine whether this is a problem for your grandmother, the physicians in the ED will want to take a careful look at your grandmother's EKGs as well as check some bloodwork that is associated with heart disease. In addition, there are many other causes of chest pain that should be excluded in a patient presenting with chest pain. Other causes of chest pain include musculoskeletal strain, heartburn, inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart or lungs (pleuritis or pericarditis), pulmonary infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis, valvular heart disease, pulmonary embolism, or a vascular problem such as a dissecting artery. Some of these things are very serious and others are quite minor. In order to determine what is going on with your grandmother, she will need to be evaluated further.

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

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