A 56-Year-Old, Otherwise Healthy Woman Presenting With Light-headedness and Progressive Shortness of Breath

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Abstract

A 56-year-old white woman was referred to the pulmonary clinic for evaluation of unexplained shortness of breath. She enjoyed good health until 3 months prior to this visit when she reported experiencing recurrent episodes of shortness of breath and oppressive retrosternal chest discomfort with radiation to the neck. Episodes lasting 5 to 10 min often occurred at rest and were inconsistently related to physical activity. These symptoms became progressively worse and were often associated with light-headedness and presyncope. Her past medical history was uneventful apart from a prior diagnosis of breast cysts and suspected prolactinoma. Her symptoms escalated to such a level that she was forced to seek urgent medical attention at our institutional ED on two separate occasions in the preceding weeks. These visits precipitated a number of investigations and, eventually, a referral to the pulmonary clinic.

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