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  • Accuracy of heart tests

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    Old 02-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
    TWA1022
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    Accuracy of heart tests

    How accurate are heart tests such as a stress echo and a nuclear stress test. I had both done in July and my cardiologist basically gave me a clean bill of health in terms of my heart. Like I previously posted, I had symptoms that went away in November but now they are back again. I can't help but think they are heart related eventhough I had all this testing which showed nothing. If someone could reassure me either way it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Rachelle

     
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    Old 02-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    if you still feel ill see another doctor

     
    Old 02-22-2008, 05:12 AM   #3
    confused32
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    I would like to know the answer to this also. I also have had all the heart test done besides a cardic cath. I still suffer sypmtoms off and on and just wonder how accurate these test are.

     
    Old 02-24-2008, 10:48 PM   #4
    Toneman
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    These tests are 85 - 90% accurate. The chances of a false positive are much higher than the chances of a false negative. The only 100% accurate test to determine the amount of blockages in one's arteries is a cath. Be careful on how many of these tests you have, the more times you take a test the greater the chance of a false positive which will lead to more invasive and unecessary tests.

    See your cardiologist or doctor if you are having symptoms again and let them make a determination based on your symptoms.

    Good Luck,

    Jon

     
    Old 03-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #5
    jcmsvd
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    Hi I had a thallium test in 1993, completed the full test and was willing to go more. failed this test went to angio cath. lab. Cath showed no problems. In 2006 had a stress echo passed with mets 13, was again willing to continue further. Nov 2007 had a stent put in for a 95% blockage in LAD, I had no pain except a sharp pain under the jaw when yelling at the dog. It was found with a 64 ct slice. We are all different and I personally believe these are really good tests but sometime we defy the tests.

     
    Old 03-02-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
    confused32
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    jcmsvd- quick question for you. You say your only pain was pain under your jaw when yelling at your dog. Where exactly did your jaw hurt. I get this pain in my jaw when i get emotionally upset. It feels like it is on my lower jaw about an inch or so left of my chin. But it seems i can get this same pain even if i am just sitting and doing nothing at all also.I have told the doctors this and had 2 nuclear stress test but they say it is not heart related. I am seriously thinking about having the 64 slice scan done just to check again. One of my cardio's said they would do the angio because this is causing me so much stress but i am to scared to have that kind of test done.

     
    Old 03-02-2008, 08:10 AM   #7
    Toneman
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    Re: Accuracy of heart tests

    jcmsvd is correct, we are all individuals and we all respond differently to these tests. The main thing is to not ignore your symptoms, always let a medical professional get involved. In jcmsvd's case it was very fortunate that it was caught when it ws.

    You need to be careful about reading posts on the internet, most of the posts you read are from those that are the exception to the rule and although the information provided is very valuable, it paints a skewed picture of these test results. People that pass these tests and go on to live normal lives almost never post, usually it is only the exception to the rule that you hear about. This is why you should mention your symptoms to your doctor but don't spend time obsessing about fales results. Also, you really need to be careful about the frequency of the tests, the more times you take a test the more likely you are to eventually get a false positive which will lead to more invasive and risky procedures. The 64 slice CT is still being looked at as a viable test and it's accuracy and prognostic value is still up for debate. Plust, there's not an insurance company out there that will pay for the high price of one if you have received normal results on a Nuclear Stress Test, it's unfortunate but true. The only way to know for sure if your arteies are clear is with a cath and it carries a very real 1 - 3% risk of complications. I have read many threads from members that forced the issue and had a cath and had a complication such as dissecting the artery and ending up undegoing an emergency bypass. Having said that, had either of my recent Thallium Stress tests come back positive and I was told I needed a cath I would do it in a heart beat (no pun intended).

    Bottom line, let your doctor know if you have a concern and trust his judgement. If you are not comfortable with his care get a second opinion, just remember you are reading about the exceptions to the rule, not necessarily the findings of the general population that takes these tests. I think it's great that people like jcmsvd share their story but weigh the facts and talk to your doctor, don't get worked up.

    Good Luck,

    Jon

     
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