Heart & Cardiology/heart test result


QUESTION: Good Day. I am 38 male . i have sinus tachy which i take atenonol 100 mg a day to control my fast heart rate, I have had 2 episodes of lone afib each 1 year apart with no known cause as to why it happend no different meds , no blood thinners, i take 1 adult asprin daily. i recently had a cardiac ct and my calcium score is a 4 on the ct scan we found a PFO and a PDA . My doctor did not mention any treatment of these issues all though they are listed on the scan . I have no abnormal symptoms. nothing i have no limitations .

1-What do you suggest I do for PDA (patent Ductus arteriosus)with no symptoms? not sure of the size of this PDA as it doesnot say
2- The PFO , does not list the size and no symptoms with that . What should i ask at this point? should i be worried ? or is there no treatment if they dont cause symptoms? thank you

ANSWER: Hi, there is some reading on PFO's at http://blog.myheart.net/2013/06/02/pfo-anyone/

A PFO is basically a small tunnel connecting the left and right upper chambers of the heart and is common, its estimated that 1 in 4 people have this, in the rest it closes naturally soon after birth. The good thing is that typically we don't so anything about them and they are very unlikely to cause you any trouble so unless you have been told otherwise for some reason, i really wouldn't worry.

As for the PDA you don't appear to have indications for closing it, you are not symptomatic, and you have been assessed by a cardiologist which is reassuring. Im assuming your PDA is not associated with a murmur and so is not audible and therefor a silent PDA that was randomly picked up on the CT scan. Im sure you have had the relevant tests such as an echocardiogram. Usually in adults we close PDA's in the following settings 1) symptoms and evidence of significant blood shunting across the PDA, evidence of elevated blood pressures in the lung, enlarged heart chambers, or prior infection in the heart. The echocardiogram can assess for pretty much all of these things. So since you have been reassured the only thing needed is regular follow up with an echocardiogram every few years or so.

Hope that helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well I have been told I had a slight murmur but no one ever looked into it . Should this make a difference?


I doubt it makes a difference, many people have a murmur and most are unlikely to be pathologic. Also it sounds like you have had a number of tests which have not shown any significant structural heart disease. The murmur of a PDA is a machinery like continuous murmur and if that had been heard before you almost certainly had an investigation for that and been told you may have a PDA. In your case, unless you have been told otherwise you likely have an innocent murmur and an incidentally found PDA. Just follow up regularly with a physician and don't worry.

Hope that helps,

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Mustafa Ahmed MD


Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Hypertension, Pulmonary Embolism, Structural and Valve Disease


Board Certification Internal Medicine and Cardiology Interventional and Structural Cardiology


Multiple Publications In High Quality Peer Reviewed Journals. Internationally Recognized.

MD from The Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Research Training - University of Alabama

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