Facebook Pixel

Stress Test for Heart patients - how often should that test be taken on tread mill or chemical injected to see triple by-pass su

By May 14, 2008 - 12:36pm
Rate This

Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I agree it a good question. I have wonder that myself. I have steints in my heart.And all my blockages fix by steints and have had stress test almost every year tell the last 2 years. but have not had a stress test save my life yet. All my steints were put in when they shot the dye in me and that shows all the blockages in your heart how much they are blockages .to me your not having stients put in your heart while taking a stress test if you did you probaly be dead.
Now the Coast Guard wants to require me to take an stress test every 2 years to hold a merchant Marniers liciese .I do not agree with them if they were my doctor i would fire them. Its my choice .To me i the good guy there the bad guys. makes me want to say your under arrest.it irrespnsable spending like they have in the white house.
Then I have the company i work for looking at paying for these if they will get a tax break . there all for it .Same ole thing are if it will knock you out of getting a 30 year retirement it will save the company money. And hire a new person there start on a new retirement which they changed the rules for the newr ones.

June 26, 2012 - 5:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Now on AARP Their Doctors study says every 2 years can cause damage .if you are not having no chest pains you should not take a stress test. Says exercise and keep your blood preasure under control. So now I am wondering why my doctor order a stress test .I almost come to a conclusion I do not know if I would believe my doctor or is about putting money all there pockets at the hostpital I am having the stress test done at.

August 1, 2014 - 1:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I in the same boat have same problem .Not having any chest pains feel normal.I think its about a bunch of evil people .Its about Control and Money. Their a lot of money involved in this including who all is beifits from the money .Well you know a Coast Guard doctor is still a doctor their still getting paid money .Its not about what harm its do to the human body .It has become about the almighty dollor over what is really safe. I have the company now wants phsical done every 2 years try to follow the coast guard rules now .so now I have another doctor and wants his on echo gram done on me .So now I exspose to more radiation I get real piss at these people its not there body .They want to control its like taking the law in there own hands over what is safe, The new one is FSA of going what figure of what they consider safe and this is a group of boss not doctors. There way is there going to do it and what ever it take to make money but they will say its safe cause it involves money in their pockets .Its not their body that taking the damage . you know as well as I do you can do a lot of damage to someone else as long as it is not you.
I agree they only see all these blockages during a dye test to determed if you have a certain precentage of blockage.

August 1, 2014 - 12:22pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Linda - These are the reasons that are given by Web MD for conducting stress tests:

* Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity.
* Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia.
* Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation.
* Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease.
* Identify abnormal heart rhythms.
* Help you develop a safe exercise program.

I wasn't able to find any helpful references about the frequency of these tests, which seem to primarily provide diagnosic information and, to a lesser degree, help monitor cardiac treatment.

Have you asked your doctor why he/she feels the tests are needed annually or if there is another way to monitor your heart health that's less invasive? Would you consider going to another cardiologist, even if it meant some travel, to get a second opinion and/or for treatment?

Since you're in a small town you may want to consider joining an online cardiac support group where you can ask other patients about how often they have these tests. I personally have a condition that can be monitored through a bone marrow biopsy, a painful and expensive procedure. Some patients have been told they need these tests to monitor their condition when there are other tests that are less invasive and provide the needed information.

If I'm able to find more definitive information on this I will let you know. I hope this helps!

Take care, Pat

June 8, 2010 - 6:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have a small amount of blockage (recently spotted when I did a full body scan), had a normal stress test, am taking small amount of lipitor, and wonder how frequently I should repeat the stress test. My concern is my doctor seems to be sending me for too many tests (wanting to repeat the stress test because a year has past), but I work out reguarly, eat carefully enough and am worried that the tests are unnecessary.

June 17, 2008 - 8:05am
(reply to Anonymous)

I would like to know the same thing. I am 61 and in a similar situation but my doctor wants to repeat a "chemical" stress test every year. He said I had 20% blockage and had to have it repeated every year. However, he put me on 10mg lipitor and I should think that since my cloresterol has gone down significantly, the yearly test is not necessary. It is very uncomfortable and scary. I might add that he bought special equipment for this testing last year and contracts with a company that sends technicians every Thursday to administer the tests to his patients. There are always several patients there for the test every Thursday, including another woman in her early 50s that I work with. I live in a small town and cannot imagine that all of these people have conditions that warrant this kind of invasive procedure. Is it safe to repeat this every year.

June 8, 2010 - 3:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to linda321)

Good question had my mom 73 had another stress test it had been 5 years since her last stress test and she still shows 20 to 30 % blockage
nothing had changed in 5 years for her. And know she not going back to the heart doctor its her choice.
yes it can cost a lot money to go as much these doctors and tech. and yes its an abnormal stress to the heart makes a person wonder.Like a person just knows someone has tortured someone to see how much the heart can take before it exspoled.

June 26, 2012 - 4:38am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Susan!

Let's talk about questions you (and many of us) may have about Stress Tests in general

Thanks to the Cleveland Clinic for this question and answer session (www.ClevelandClinic.org) -

What is an exercise stress test?
The exercise stress test involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while you are closely monitored. The test is used to:

Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease (blocked arteries);
Identify abnormal heart rhythms;
Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan; and
Help you develop a safe exercise program.
Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?
Yes. However, DO NOT eat or drink anything except water for 4 hours before the test. In addition, DO NOT drink or eat caffeinated, decaffeinated or caffeine-free products (cola, Mountain Dew, chocolate products, coffee or tea) for 12 hours before the test. Caffeine will interfere with the results of your test.

Should I take my medications the day of the test?
DO NOT take the following heart medications on the day of your test unless your physician tells you otherwise or if the medication is needed to treat chest discomfort the day of the test:

Atenolol (for example: Tenormin)
Beta blockers
Isosorbide dinitrate (for example: Isordil, Sorbitrate)
Isosorbide mononitrate (for example: Ismo, Indur, Monoket)
Metoprolol (for example: Lopressor, Toprol)
Nitroglycerine (for example: Deponit, Nitrostat, Nitropatches)
Propranolol (for example: Inderal)
Your physician may also ask you to stop taking other heart medications on the day of your test. If you have any questions about your medications, ask your physician.

NOTE: Do not discontinue any medication without first talking with your physician.

If you use an inhaler for your breathing, please bring it to the test.
Guidelines for diabetics
If you take insulin to control your blood sugar, ask your physician what amount of your medication you should take the day of the test. Often, your physician will tell you to take only half of your usual morning dose and to eat a light meal 4 hours before the test.

If you take pills to control your blood sugar, do not take your medication until after the test is complete.

Do not take your diabetes medication and skip a meal before the test.

If you own a glucose monitor, bring it with you to check your blood sugar levels before and after your exercise stress test. If you think that your blood sugar is low, tell the lab personnel immediately. Plan to eat and take your blood sugar medication following your stress test.

What should I wear the day of the test?
Wear comfortable clothes. Bring shoes suitable for walking. Do not bring valuables. You will be given a locker to store your belongings during the test.

What happens during the test?

A stress technician will gently rub ten small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on these areas. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (EKG) that charts your heart's electrical activity during the test.
Before you start exercising, the technician will perform a resting EKG, measure your resting heart rate and take your blood pressure.
You will exercise either on a treadmill or a stationary bicycle.
The lab personnel will ask you to start exercising and gradually increase your rate of exercise. You will be asked to exercise very hard until you are exhausted.
At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest, arm or jaw pain or discomfort, short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded or if you have any other unusual symptoms.
The lab personnel will watch for any symptoms or changes on the EKG monitor that suggest the test should be stopped.
After the test, you will walk slowly for a couple of minutes to cool down. Your heart rate, blood pressure and EKG will continue to be monitored until the levels are returning to normal.
How will I feel during the test?
You will be encouraged to exercise until you are exhausted. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and perspiration to increase. This information will allow your physician to assess your heart's ability to function.

If you begin to notice chest discomfort, excessive shortness of breath, lightheadedness, irregular heart beats or other symptoms of concern, tell the stress lab personnel immediately.

How long does the test take?
The appointment will take about 60 minutes. The actual exercise time is usually between 7 and 12 minutes.

How do I get the results of my test?
Your physician will mail the test results to you or discuss the results with you after a cardiologist has reviewed the information.
SOURCE (www.revolutionhealth.com)

As for as the other testing (via injection, as you mentioned) this is called Nuclear Stress Testing -

"A nuclear stress test is a test that is performed either in a doctor’s office or at a hospital. It is done on an outpatient basis, usually lasting anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on the facility and the type of nuclear stress test that is being done. This stress test involves the injection of a radioactive substance. This radioactive substance mixes in with your blood that flows to your heart.

This substance helps the scanner take pictures of your heart while you are laying perfectly still on the table. This is a noninvasive procedure, where the most uncomfortable aspect is the injection and having to hold still during the scan. The radioactive substance, in essences helps the heart “glow” for the camera. So that the camera or scanner can take pictures of your heart as it pumps and pushes the blood in and out.

The pictures give your doctor an accurate depiction of how your heart muscle is working.
If there is an area of your heart that is not getting the blood flow that it should it will appear as a light spot on the pictures because the radioactive substance is not able to get there.

As stated earlier there are different types of nuclear stress test. One is called the myocardial perfusion scan. With this nuclear stress test you will exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. The exercise will last until you reach your target heart rate and then you are given the injection and then pictures are taken.

Now there are some facilities that will take pictures of your heart at rest first and then you will exercise and pictures will be taken again to compare your heart at rest and after stress. Other facilities will have you exercise, give the injection and then do the pictures and in a few hours you will have the resting pictures taken.

Another nuclear stress test is called the multiple gated acquisition scan. The only difference here is that you are given the injection before exercise. The still take pictures of your heart before and after exercise. This type of scan is more to see the motion of your heart and how well it is pumping. The myocardial perfusion scan is actually looking to see if there is any narrowing of the arteries around the heart.

There is also the adenosine nuclear stress test. This test is more for people that are unable to exercise. The adenosine helps to speed up the heart, in other words it gives the heart the effects of exercising so that pictures can be taken and compared."

SOURCE (www.nuclear-stress-test.com)

Ezine Articles ( www.ezinearticles.com ) has a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor regarding a Nuclear Stress Test -

Why am I having the cardiac testing done?
Is there any other cardiac testing that can be done in place of the nuclear stress test?
How accurate is the nuclear stress test?
Will there be any pain or discomfort during the testing?
If this test safe for me if it involves exercise and I have a heart condition?
Can the test be completed in one day?
How long does the test take?
How long will it take for me to get the results?
What will you be able to tell me about my heart from the test?
Who will give me the results?
Will I be performing the exercise or will you give me medication to simulate exercise?
What will happen if I am unable to finish the test?
What testing can or will be done after the nuclear stress test?
How will the nuclear stress test help you prepare my treatment plan?
Can I have someone with me during testing?
If I am pregnant is this test safe?
How often will I need to have this test done?
Is this test covered by insurance?
How much will the test cost?
What is the recovery time after the testing?
Is it safe for me to drive after testing?
Do I need to change my diet prior to testing?
Should I hold any of my medications?

As to your main question, which is how often these stress tests should be taken? Unfortunately, we cannot tell you that. That is up to you and your doctor. He or she will advise you based on your age, your health and your history.

Susan, thanks for joining Empowher.com! We hope we can help you further! Have you been advised to take a stress test? Can you let us know a little bit about what you are experiencing or is this for a family member?

May 14, 2008 - 1:12pm


Great question.....we will post an answer for you on the site within 24 hours.

More to come shortly

May 14, 2008 - 12:42pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.