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jtu91952 11-24-2004 04:53 PM

Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Today i went to my cardio appt. and had an ekg. Last month when i was in the ER they did a nuclear image and a stress test for chest pain and very high bp. Today, she (cardio dr) said bcuz my breast are large they were not able to tell if the image was correct or not. How can this be? I was on that table for over two hrs. They did the test twice. The operators were young goofy girls, they kept getting it wrong and i kept having to do the imaging over.

I;ve waited for four weeks and this is all i get. I was told it looked like my heart had alot of damage, but they can't trust the nuclear imaging bcuz my breast are large and it like wearing a hat covering the eyes, said they couldn't tell if my eyes were blue or brown bcuz hat covered them. I asked if they could do a blood test or something bcuz i was concerned about my very high bp (210/96 in cardio's office) and pulse was 69.

She gave me a script for k-dur 20,lasix 20mg, and to take verapamil 360mgs. She also gave me a month's supply of pravigard(pravachol & asprin).

Any thoughts? I really don't know what to do at this point. Plz respond.

MathMom 11-24-2004 06:11 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
I don't know much about these tests looking for heart damage, but I know I had a sonogram of my heart a few months back, looking for damage. Has that been done for you yet?

Can't help you with the drugs - sorry. I hope someone else will be along soon to give their thoughts.

JJ 11-24-2004 07:10 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Good Lord jtu, what a rotten day for U!! I'll be honest, I have no idea what that dr. was talking about, or anything about the meds. but I certainly would want another opinion. The only med I can associate with is the Pravachol, as that of course is a cholesterol drug, but never heard of it with an aspirin in it???

I had an echo done last year, and I also am large busted, but it didn't seem to cause the technician or the dr. from reading it and explaining it to me. He actually went thru the entire echo imaging with me to show me what everything meant.

I can't tell U how sorry I feel for U that U went thru all that with absolutely NO answer. All I can say, is I truly hope U have a nice Thanksgiving, and this problem get's solved with some answers for you. Major prayers.... :angel:

CASSIEBEL 11-24-2004 09:41 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
I agree, what a horrible way to start the holiday.
I also have had an echo of my heart several times and necular stress test. My husband had a heart attack some years back and they also did an echo on him to assess the damage to his heart. Have they done one on you?
I'm not sure what your test was. Was it a necular scan or stress test?
K-dur is a potassium supplement? Lasix is a diuretic and verapamill is a calcicum channel blocker. I took verapamill myself for about 7 yrs.
You said the other day that your BP#'s are around 150/70 do you think today was a case of white coat or something else?
Gee, I hope someone here can offer more advicebut I do agree with . I'd want a second openion
I hope you can relax for a few days and have a plesant Thanksgiving.
My best to you,

jtu91952 11-25-2004 05:44 AM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Thanks everyone for responding. I don't know the name of the test, but it is where they inject dye into an iv and you get on a table(very uncomfortable) and this machine takes pictures of your heart from all angles for 17 to 20 mins. Then i waited a few mins. and they put this heavy belt around my waist and i got on the treadmill and they watch the computer for 10 mins. That one they called the stress test and it was ok.

Im mainly concerned about the imaging test bcuz i had that last yr and they said i had some blockage. Now they can't read it. My breast aren't that big that they can't see my heart. Oh well, i guess i'll just have to wait and see after the holidays. Im going to plan with my baby niece. She is soooo cute and very funny.

See why i have a difficult time taking bp meds given by drs. They can't even take a simple blood test and just give out meds. What a much of quacks. i never heard just an explaination. This was done at a very very large training hospital.


JJ 11-25-2004 10:31 AM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
jtu..go to Google and look up Thallium Stress Test, as this sounds like what U might have had. I know my husband had it about 7 yrs. ago. I'm really busy right now or I would look it up for ya, but will try later when things calm down.

Sure hope U have a great Thanksgiving, and just try to relax right now. Raining like crazy here, but hey, at least it isn't snow. LOL Got to put dinner on, so will try and CYL...... :wave:

I just quicklywent to google and found some info. on these tests. It sounds like U had a sestamibi and thallium stress test. Don't know if this URL will be taken off or not, but here is where I found some info. for ya. Good luck sweetie..... :confused:


Happy Thanksgiving to all..... :wave:

jtu91952 11-25-2004 04:16 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Thank you JJ, hope you have a happy thanksgiving also. I've put it out of my mind for now.

mgraylorn 11-29-2004 11:32 AM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Big breasts is a lame excuse and no excuse at all! I would demand a retest at no cost. They screwed up and won't admit it.

jtu91952 11-29-2004 04:36 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Mgraylorn, i totally agree with you. When my cardio was explaining this to me, i was sitting there thinking poppycock (really some profane) the technician just screwed up. I've had nuclear imagining and stress tests b4 and never a problem.

I was quite stressed at the time and rushed for time. She just gave me a bunch of pills and sent me on my way. Of course, i have not taken them yet. Im debating if i should since im allergic to statins (pravigard) and i don't want to take diuretics (lasix).
I plain on going to another hospital clinic that's connected to the Cleveland Clinic.

Jack51 12-05-2004 02:16 AM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Hidy Jtu91952 :)

I've really been worried about you. I don't want to preach to you, but you have got to get some medicine to keep your BP under control. I know that you have diabetes and the diuretics are increasing your blood glucose. That puts you in a tough situation, but you can find the right medicine for your BP, and I know that you control your diet well. I don't know if you take medicine for your diabetes or not, but isn't this a possibility, if you have to take diuretics for BP control? Have you tried all the other classes of drugs for BP control? You really need two good doctors that will work together to keep your BP and BG at tolerable, healthy levels. You must help the 2 doctors (prompt or prod them) to coordinate your treatment. Preferrably a good cardiologist and an edocrinologist.

I know that you have had a heart attack. How much damage did it do and what part of your heart was effected? Do you know your "ejection fraction"? At the time how was your heart attack confirmed, and how long ago was it when it happened? Did they do a cardiac catheterization at that time or since the heart attack? Have you ever had known coronary artery blockage(s) documented though testing? If so what type of test and what coronary arteries was/were blocked? Did you have any stents inserted?

I have had 3 nuclear scanned stress test and they are not that reliable, even when done at the best hospitals with the best equipment and techs. Approximately 40% of the time they result in false positives for blockages that aren't there. This leads to unnecessary cardiac caths. About 10-15% of the time they result in false negatives, which can lead to heart attacks due to coronary artery blockages not being found. If a person passes the stress test, but still has symptoms of coronary artery blockages, such as angina and shortness of breath, they will do a cardiac cath anyway because then, they suspect the stress test missed the blockage(s). The stress test doesn't directly check for coronary artery blockages. It does so indirectly, by checking blood flow (perfusion) into the muscle of the heart, received from the coronary arteries. The imaging device can "see" the radioactive dye that went through your coronary arteries and into your heart muscle (myocardium) during the exercise. If part of the myocardium did not receive blood (with dye), then the image of the heart will show a lack of blood flow during exercise (due to the color of the image of the heart muscle). This shows that blockages are present in your coronary arteries. They also inject you with dye while you are at rest and take more pictures. If the images taken during the resting part of the test show your heart muscle was not receiving proper blood flow, then you are in worse shape as compared to the images taken during exercise. If someone has coronary artery disease (CAD), it is expected that the heart muscle will not receive enough blood flow while running on a treadmill. But many of these same people (with CAD) will show good blood flow to the heart muscle during rest. Inadequate blood flow at rest is a sign of severe coronary artery blockage(s). If the test shows good blood flow at exercise and inadequate blood flow at rest, then they know the test was probably faulty.

I am 5' 10" and have a waist size of 36. I am a little thick in the middle, but not that bad. During the last stress test that I had, I was told that the "at rest" imaging was faulty due to my stomach. I had to come back 2 days later to be retested and it worked on the 2nd try. They did not treat you properly if they just "give up" due to your bust size. They have to keep trying. At the very least another time or maybe even more. If they could not properly image you, then the doctor should have explained the failure to you. I know that they could have made it work, because there are many women such as yourself. I would demand to have the test completed, and make sure the cardiologist takes his time and goes over the results with you.

The "gold standard" for determining coronary artery blockages is the cardiac catheterization, as you probably know, and the procedure carries risk and is not a lot of fun. I have had 3, and will probably have a few more. I have a very dangerous blockage location in my left main coronary artery. It was ~ 45% blocked in February of this year. If it were to go to >90% closed, I will check out. The blockage is called a "widowmaker". Not trying to be over dramatic, but I have to listen to my body very closely. Angina is the key for me to know when to go for a stent or bypass surgery. I have experienced a lot of angina in the past, so I know without a doubt, what to look for.

You are going to have to find the right medicines and have faith in them. Sometimes there really are no other options. With each pill comes a little poison, I have read. You need daily aerobic exercise (but don't hurt yourself), eat right and take you medicine. Be aware of any chest pain. You have already had a heart attack, like myself, and the odds of having another have increased for both of us.

I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving :) Hang in there and keep us up to date on whats going on please.


Lenin 12-05-2004 06:04 AM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!

That's a bummer. I think that the nuclear particles emitted from the heart's vessels can EASILY pass through breast tissue, and muscle tissue and even RIBS and STERNUM. Breasts are not a problem.
They got blurry images because they screwed up the test with poor focusing or too much movement (but I'll bet they still CHARGE for it.)
Get the test redone somewhere else, or else have a cardiac catheterization (also SOMEWHERE ELSE!)

That lasix is a very potent loop diuretic and the k-dur's are 1500 mg. potassium chloride. Add that to 360 mg. verapamil and you have a VERY high dosage of BP meds. Monitor it carefully at home, lest you fall over when you try to stand up.

jtu91952 12-05-2004 08:43 PM

Re: Went to my cardio appt. today..need help!
Lenin, thank you so much for that info. One ?? though. If i take the 360 verapamil will the side effects double or will i suffer the side effects all over again? I tolerate 240 verapamil ok.

I haven't taken the lasix yet bcuz im afraid it will increase my cholesterol. Do you think if i take 10mgs instead of 20mgs i will be ok?

And yes i was charged $975 thru my insurance. My new cardio wasn't alarmed about the test, but it isn't her heart. I will see her 12/8 and request that the test be done over free of charge.

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