Last August, Manisha Rale, 25, started suffering from sporadic chest pain. She would feel a shooting pain in her chest after eating and while climbing stairs. “I thought it might be acidity but the pain never subsided,” said the Jogeshwari resident.
Doctors found that the arteries leading to Rale’s heart were blocked and the aortic valve was leaking. She needed an urgent bypass and aortic valve replacement surgery and underwent the procedure at Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla, last month.
On Tuesday, when Rale, who works as a office assistant in SEEPZ, came for her first follow-up, doctors reassured her that her heart was healthy and functioning well. Rale’s age, gender and complexity of the heart disease made her case an unusual one, said doctors.
“We have never seen such a young female patient suffering from a coronary artery and aortic valve disease without showing any risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, diabetes or obesity,” said Dr Hemant Pathare, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, Kohinoor Hospital.
Tests revealed that all three coronary arteries were significantly blocked. Doctors said she was suffering from hyperhomocysteinaemia — a disorder in which homocysteine (a protein found in blood) is abnormally high due to associated vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid deficiency. “These deficiencies cause homocysteine levels to go up which then damage the inner linings of coronary blood vessels causing blockages,” said Dr Sharat Kolke, consulting physician, Kohinoor Hospital. Rale was suffering from Marfan's syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue where these tissues become weak and defective and affect various parts of the body including the heart, said doctors. In Rale’s case it had affected her aortic valve.
On December 21, in a seven-hour operation, doctors replaced the aortic valve and the root and did a bypass surgery to remove the blockages from Rale’s heart.
“Had she not been operated in the next one month, she would have either succumbed to massive heart attack or rupture of the aorta- the largest artery in the body,” said Dr Pathare. The doctors are planning to publish this case in the New England Journal of Medicine soon.