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echo stress test..how reliable?(4 posts)

echo stress test..how reliable?yellowspox
Dec 20, 2003 3:00 AM
I recently had some minor surgery to remove 1/2 my thyroid. They did an EKG reading prior to the surgery and it came back showing "myocardial infarction"...aka..heart attack since my last one in 2001. At 58, I'm in the best shape of my life and and couldn't understand the results. My regular doctor reviewed the EKG and said there was something minor showing but OK'd the surgery and also my present cycling/training schedule. He ordered full blood testing and set up an echo stress test for Monday to try ruling out any major problems. My trainer advises pushing them to use my training max H/R of 178 instead of the standard 220-age thing. Just how accurate is an echo stress test at eliminating problems like an undetected blockage? Is there anything else that is non-invasive to check the same problem?
re: echo stress test..how reliable?cincy1
Dec 20, 2003 4:19 AM
I have had a similar situation for over ten years..a T-wave inversion in my ECG that usually foretells infarction. I have echo cardiograms and a stress test every other year and have had no problems or anomalous test results. In the case of the inversion, there are statistically significant numbers of people who have them and don't have arterial blockage. Oddly enough my doctor said that weightlifters and cyclists are the most prevalent common circumstances. I do both. If your family doctor hasn't done this already ask him/her to get a cardiologist consultation on all your test results. I can't say that you have no issues and the doctors will never give you a positive answer. If you still want more data, full body CAT scans give some indication of the condition of your major arteries. I haven't done this yet. All you can do is stay fit, eat right, stay near your ideal body weight, monitor cholesterol and lipids etc, etc.. Good luck.
re: echo stress test..how reliable?yellowspox
Dec 20, 2003 10:16 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to bring this up when I talk with the cardioligist and my internal med doctor.
re: echo stress test..how reliable?Money D
Dec 21, 2003 12:28 AM
The echo test is a nuclear stress test that uses real time imaging and radionucleotides to image the beating heart. They look at every aspect of your heart's "pumping" ability. There are several parameters that will be measured, i.e. ejection fraction, valve size/regurg, etc... This test is very sensitive for picking up damaged sections of the heart and valves, be it from MI (myocardial infarction) or some other condition. There are different kinds of studies lumped in the "echo" category. I'm not sure by your description which exactly you are getting, but it should give your M.D.s a better picture of your cardiac function. From your story, more likely than not you have nothing to worry about.

Money D M.D.