Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Such a Rare Disease

October 5, 2012

I had my SCAD in September last year – a tear in the LAD artery. I had pain about a week before at the gym but thought I’d pulled a muscle as I’d just done some arm weights. The pain eased off but came back again a week later. During that week I’d done two sessions with my personal trainer. Each episode on the day the pain came back eased off after about 15 minutes and I thought it was because I was rushing around. Then the next evening the pain came back and just wouldn’t go – central chest pain, numb left arm and hand. I tried to get some sleep but after four hours the pain had not gone, so I decided it wasn’t indigestion!

I’m lucky that I live close to Papworth Hospital in the UK, a specialist heart centre, and the ambulance took me straight there. I had an angioplasty immediately but no stent – the consultant said these tears often heal themselves. I’m assuming the tear wasn’t massive in order for me not to require a stent.

The more I read about how rare the condition is, the more it concerns me. My consultant said there was definitely no genetic link… but how does he know? And if there is, are my sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces at risk?

I had no risk factors apart from being overweight (which I was dealing with through diet and exercise!) I had taken citalopram for stress/depression about five years ago for about two years, then went back on it for menopausal reasons about a year ago. I do wonder if stress has a major part to play.

Thanks for setting up this website and researching into SCAD – it’s a relief to know there are people doing something to help find answers.