Does anyone know if a Stress ECHO can rule out all serious heart problems? I mean, if you have a stress ECHO, and everything comes out fine, can you finally relax and chalk the skipped beats and occasional fast pounding to anxiety or just "life"?
Well, according to my cardiologist, it can. I mean, I'm sure nothing offers a 100% guarantee, but I was told the stress echo provides a great deal of information. In a nutshell, if I understand correctly, it can show if any areas of your heart are not receiving adequate blood flow (and thus not contracting fully) due to a possible blockage, as well as revealing any structural defects in the heart (i.e. a valve problem).
I just had a stress echo on Monday, and like you, it was skipped beats that brought me to a cardiologist. It turned out well, and she gave me leave to do any sort of strenuous exercise I please, so I assume she considers it a definitive test (and my cardio doc runs on the overzealous side, IMO)
Maybe someone more knowledgible could discuss whether the stress echo would reveal electrical problems, or at least the need for further testing. Again, it seemed to thoroughly satisfy my doctor, but perhaps every case is different. Still, a good result ought to give you considerable peace of mind.
Have you already had your test, or are you still waiting to have it? Has your doctor explained the nature of your skipped beats? (mine turned out to be innocuous PACs, with a definite anxiety connection)
I had one about a year ago that came out fine. It showed "mild mitral valve regurgitation" which, from what I understand is not a big deal. I have another one scheulded in a couple of weeks, just as a follow up-to see if anything has changed, and for my new cardio to read it himself (as opposed to the interpretation of someone esle). I'd finally like to put this fear to rest. I feel great most of the time, but every now and then my heart pounds and races for no apperant reason. I do have anxiety issues, so I try to keep that in mind and not freak out too much, because I know that only adds to it. Thanks for the post!
My plain Echo did not show what the STRESS ECHO did. With me also, the STRESS ECHO showed the same as a Nuclear Cardiolite Test which is more invasive. I have an area that is not receiving good blood flow )-: But, this did not pick up the A-FIB. I wore a 30 day Event Monitor and will go back and get a 25 hour monitor next week and another ECHO.