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RA with pericarditis or pleurisy?

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I was wondering if there was anyone out there that had some insight...So, I've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I'm in the middle of a flare up, and I'm having terrible chest pain and shortness of breath, and sleep apnea. I've never stopped breathing while sleeping before.

The chest pain is in the middle of my chest, under my sternum and under my left breast. It is constant aching and sometimes stabbing pain. Breathing doesn't really make it worse.

The shortness of breath gets MUCH worse in the steam of a hot shower. Rest has helped, but after a full week of rest, the pain and shortness of breath has only gotten slightly better.

I have been to a pulmonologist. He ran a battery of tests...CT scan of chest, EKG, echocardiogram all of which were normal. I am still waiting on the results of my sleep lab study and pulmonary function test. Still, the pulmonologist is stumped. He said he hasn't ruled out pleurisy or pericarditis, but he said that both should have showed up on the CT scan.

Now, I was under the assumption that neither always show up on a CT scan. And both can be difficult to diagnose. Does any one have any insight? I'm tired of hanging out on the couch. Smile
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replied July 11th, 2010
All I can say is that my understanding is that they are very difficult to diagnose also and do not always show up on CT scans, Echos, or other such things.I had pericarditis, pleurisy, etc. last year very badly and even after they stopped showing up on the CT scans I was still ill. Now I am diagnosed with "recurrent" pericarditis, but I have no idea whether that is what is going on or not. I asked the doc how he knew that it wasn't some other inflammation in the chest and he said basically he didn't, though he thought he had heard some pericardial rub when I was feeling really poorly. Now I am getting worse again and trying to figure out what to do!
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