Q. My friend had stabbing chest pain and breathlessness. Is it mini-stroke?

Answered by
Dr. Rishu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 18, 2016 and last reviewed on: Nov 07, 2020

Hi doctor,

A good friend of mine was headed to work one morning. He got a stabbing pain in his chest and his vision went blurry. The pain went down his left arm and hand. It eased up, but the numbness stayed in his hand for about a week. He ignored it. A few nights later, he woke up gasping as if he could not catch his breath. Again, he ignored it. A few days later, at work, he experienced the same stabbing pain in his chest and inability to catch his breath. Several minutes passed and as always he ignored it. He has been diagnosed with high blood pressure and was prescribed with medication, which he takes rarely. What could all of this be? From what I read, it sounds like a mini-stroke. Please help.



Welcome to

I am really sorry to hear about it.

Chest pain with radiation to arms associated with breathing difficulty and blurry vision points towards classical angina. According to the symptoms, a cardiac event is more likely than a stroke.

As per the history mentioned by you, the patient is hypertensive and obese. Both are the risk factors of coronary artery disease.

I would suggest to go for a 2D echo test to rule out any lack of blood supply or any mild myocardial infarction, treadmill test, lipid profile and echocardiogram. When done together, then have a sensitivity rate of more than 75%.

Apart from that, I would like to know if the patient is a smoker or diabetic.

Also, is there any chest discomfort or breathlessness on walking fast or climbing upstairs?

Revert back with the investigation reports to a cardiologist online -->

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