There is a VAST difference between the plain vanilla echogram and a scan with nuclear markers. The nuclear imaging WILL show areas of the heart that are deprived and thus causing pain. However one can still have a reasonable blood flow with blockages and these will not show up. BUT if a person gets pain...then a blockage will show because some part of the heart is deprived of the nuclear material along with food and oxygen. Of course all this presupposes a COMPETENT practitioner.
I came out PERFECT on a plain vanilla stress-echogram at the time that I had a virtual complete blockage of the RCA (and it hurt like Hell on exertion during the test.)
I agree the only SURE test is an angiogram performed by a specialist, but the markered imaging is VERY useful and SOOO much easier than an angiogram.
Stents fail two ways, clotting and furring. Clotting usually occurs FAST and is deadly serious; furring is replaquing inside the stent. Slower but results are the same.
Aspirin and Plavix (if you MUST) do a lot to prevent the clots and continued SUPER TIGHT blood lipid vigilance will take care of replaquing (WE HOPE.)
The first year after the first stent feels a bit like there's a time bomb in the middle of your chest...the concern gets less and less with thime, but should NEVER decrease to the point where we go back to the habits that glued the arteries up in the first place...that route only leads to the grave.