Clinical Review Interactive case report

A 66 year old woman with breathlessness: case presentation

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 18 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:698
  1. Douglas Lowdon, specialist registrar in medicine for the elderly (,
  2. Marion McMurdo, professor of ageing and health2
  1. 1Royal Victoria Hospital, Dundee DD2 1SP
  2. 2Ageing and Health, Division of Medicine and Therapeutics, Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY
  1. Correspondence to: Douglas Lowdon

    Mrs Dempsey is a 66 year old woman who until recently had led a fit and active life. She was referred to the acute medical assessment clinic with a two month history of breathlessness and swollen ankles. She complained, “I get out of breath when I do the housework and I can't even walk to the corner shop.” Her general practitioner had thought she had heart failure and prescribed diuretics. Further questioning revealed the onset to be insidious and that her dyspnoea had not improved despite diuretics. She described four pillow orthopnoea and denied chest pain, palpitations, wheeze, or cough.

    On …

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