Abnormal Stress Echo - Dr wants Angiogram - advice?

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davinciphoto
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/9/2012 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am a 40 year old male, healthy weight, non smoker and rare drinker. I had been having very minor aches in my chest of the past year and decided to mention it to my DR. I also have ED so I was thinking I could have an issue with blood flow. I asked my DR to get me a Stress Echo Test and a Carotid Ultra Sound. He thought I was crazy but ordered it anyway.

I show up for my Stress Echo and the first part is the resting portion. Before that even ended a Cardiologist came in and said we didn't need to do the stress because the resting portion was already abnormal. He then said to make an appointment with him to have an Angiogram performed. At the time I agreed but after reading about the test, I am not sure I want to do it. I would rather do an MRA instead. Can anyone please tell me what could cause a abnormal resting Echo (DR said something about my heart being weak), and can someone please tell me if an MRA would suffice in showing my DR what may be wrong? My appointment is Tuesday to talk about the results of all of my tests and to plan the next step. I just want to be well prepared and to be honest, cant think about anything else right now other than my heart.

In regards to my heart symptoms, I do not have shortness of breath, I am not dizzy, the ache I feel in my chest does not go to my arm, jaw or back. The only symptom I have is ED and an occasional ache in my chest. I also had just had a major lung infection a few weeks prior to my Stress Echo. Is it possible that I was still inflamed which could have given a false positive during the stress echo?

Sorry for the questions. Just really concerned.

Mark

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/9/2012 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Mark,
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  I know you must be feeling anxiety over the echo and not knowing what the Dr. saw on your echo it is hard to comment as well as I am not a Dr.  
 
The difference between an MRA and an angiogram:
 
They are two different exams, however, both are useful for diagnostic purposes and there are many variables as to why one physician would use one over the other. Both can yield the same results, but again, variables do play a factor. Having an MRA has many contraindications: If a patient has any metal implantations, pacemakers, etc.. are NOT able to go into an MRI machine, therefore, traditional angiography is useful.

MRA - It is a minimally invasive medical test that uses an MRI machine to produce pictures of major blood vessels throughout the body by using radio waves and a computer. It does NOT use ionizing radiation, like X-rays, and can be done with or without contrast material.

Angiography - Allows access to the blood vessels most commonly through the femoral artery, to look at the left side of the heart and the arterial system or the jugular or femoral vein, to look at the right side of the heart and the venous system. Using a system of guide wires and catheters, a type of contrast agent (which shows up by absorbing the x-rays), is added to the blood to make it visible on the x-ray images.
 
My best advice to you would be to make an appointment with your Cardiologist and ask him re which test would give him the best information to make a dx as to what is going on with your heart.
 
You also may want to read the report on the results of the echo as it should be available to you.  Once you have gathered all the data you can make in informed consent on which test you prefer to agree to.
 
I wish you the best and please know coming here and talking with us is a good thing.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 


 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

davinciphoto
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/9/2012 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt. I think the worst part of this is that I did not have an appointment with the Cardiologist, just the stress echo test. So when he came in to tell me to make an appointment for an angiogram, he was quick and didn't really explain himself as to why he wanted me to do this. So the waiting game is killing me faster than my heart may be. I am really concerned with the angiogram because I am a full time photographer that is constantly on my feet. sitting, squating, etc... and doing all of this while on the beach. We are beach photographers (families, weddings, etc..). So I am in no way in a position that I can take time off, especially right now (biggest tourist season of year). I have read so many horror stories of angiograms online of patients having heart attacks, strokes, ruptures of the angio entry point, etc.... The anxiety is kicking in for sure.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/9/2012 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Mark,
 
Big breath and remember if the Cardiologist saw something life threatening he would be remiss in not sending you straight to interventional cardiology with no stops along the way.  The fact that he abruptly came in and just told you to make the appointment was inappropriate IMHO.  You deserved an explanation and you did not get one so now you are into "what if?" thinking. 
 
When you’re worried, your mind is filled with unfavorable situations that might occur in the future. Bring your focus back to the present. Ask yourself what is happening right now? Realise that right now you’re safe. The things you’re worrying about aren’t occurring at this very moment—if they were, you wouldn’t be asking "what if?", you’d already know the answer.
 
Remember most of what you read on the internet is "the worse case scenario".  People that have a good experience with tests and procedures don't bother to join online groups or forums to share how great they did.
 
A couple of links for you to read but remember they are informational only and nothing can take the place of a question and answer session with a great Cardiologist.  
 
 
 
I hope this helps you and I can identify with how you are feeling.  My hubby was dx in September with cardiomyopathy via Echo - had follow up stress Echo and did OK.  We were both shocked to learn of this dx as he has no history of heart problems.
 
Blessings to you and again - Big Breath !
 
Kindly,
Kitt 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

davinciphoto
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/11/2012 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
My appt is not until tomorrow but I went to the hospital and got my records of the Carotid Ultrasound and the Heart Ultra sound (trans-thoracic Echocardiography. The carotid report says everything is normal. The TTE states I have grade 2 diastolic dysfunction. Everything else about my heart is in normal range. There are trace mitral and tricupid regurgitation as well. From what I am reading, this is in the onset stages of the disease. Is this reversible ? Could this be the cause of my chest aches? As I said before, I Do not feel pain anywhere but around the heart and I have had no other symptoms of heart disease. I do have ED as well. Could this issue be the cause of my ED? Thanks for listing and chiming any anyone who happens to stumble upon my post.

Mark
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