Heart Disease Community
Heart Disease
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to angina, angioplasty, arrhythmia, bypass surgery, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, defibrillator, heart attack, heart disease, mitral valve, pacemaker, PAD, stenosis, and stress tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Heart Disease

My husband was advised to have a heart cath based on ECG findings.  He is 71 yo, non smoker, n/l cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure is normal. No family history of heart disease. Heavy drinker 3-4 days week.


This discussion is related to Hypercholesterolemia vs. Hyperlipidemia.
13 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
212161_tn?1391090750
than I would have it done, better to do it than wish later you had when something goes wrong.   sounds like hes in good health so why take a chance .
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
We're hesitating because it is after all, an invasive procedure, that is not without risk.
Blank
159619_tn?1318997813
The risk of a complication is under 1%, you must weigh that against the benefit of finding an issue. Do you know what the cardiologist found on the EKG?
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
The way to look at it is that the Cardiologist wouldn't suggest a Cath unless he felt it absolutely necessary, he is fully aware of any potential risks. He must feel that there is a problem posing a higher risk than the Cath if not investigated and hopefully dealt with. Problems with Cath procedures are very rare, so I wouldn't let this deter me from having a possible heart attack prevented. I really have lost count how many Cath's I've had now, and I'm still here. If I hadn't had them, I probably wouldn't be. If you have any questions at all about the procedure, please don't hesitate to ask. There is no pain involved and the procedure is over with in less than an hour in nearly all cases.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
We have also seen on ABC News about all the unnecessary heart caths being done in Florida.  We live in Jacksonville, so that contributes to the hesitation when there is nothing in lab work or echo to suggest CAD. Is it possible the ECG finding was an anomaly?  We will be seeking a second opinion. We do not know the cardiologist findings (I didn't go with him to the doctor :-/)  We will have that information on Monday.  :-) Thank you for your input,
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/risk-unnecessary-cardiac-surgery/story?id=16957395
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
There is always a chance they will find nothing during a cath, but that procedure rules out many issues. I don't take much notice of the media, and I'm sure that all those Cath procedures had no issues. Whatever Cardiologists decide or do, there is always a report which is contrary. Cath procedures are the gold standard for finding any heart disease.
I remember when I was having chest pains about 3 years back. ECG/Echo all returned normal. My cardiologist recommended a cath which I agreed to. It looked clear. However, they used a special device on the tip of the catheter and discovered a huge disruption to blood flow in a major artery, but it was invisible to the eye. 2 stents later it was back to normal and I felt great. These are the stories you never hear in the media or see on the internet :(
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
so true, it's just the lack of other findings that is of major concern.
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
Yeah, Doctors will always tell you that the internet is a bad place to look and the media. With the media their philosophy is no news is good.
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
I can tell you a sample of 500 patients from 2007 have been researched recently in the UK. Half had only the vessel causing a heart attack stented, other blockages were left. The other 250 patients had all blockages 70% and over treated. The results conclusively revealed that stenting all blockages reduced further attacks or death by 64%.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Update...  We have followed up with the Cardiologist that did my husband stress test that should the abnormality.  He now state that they will do more blood work (CRP, homocystine, LpA, expanded, lipids); if that shows any thing ...he will a nuclear stress test.  He also has a scheduled appointment with another Cardiologist for a second opinion.
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
Personally I think that's the wrong way round, but that's through personal experience. I received my first stent in 2007 to stop a heart attack, and it was seen during the angio procedure that my left artery was totally blocked. They could see some blood was going into it from somewhere, near the bottom, but this was invisible. They had a hunch that some of my heart muscle would be dead so I was put in for a nuclear scan. The nuclear scan revealed my heart like that of an athlete, but I felt awful. The cardiologist said "If we had done the nuclear scan first, I would have dismissed you having a healthy heart. However, we know this to be wrong". This happens in quite a number of cases because collateral vessels give feeds to areas not getting enough oxygen. They give the same amount of blood if the heart is as rest OR if stressed, so is very misleading.
Blank
976897_tn?1379171202
Maybe it would be of use if I explain what the nuclear scan is. They inject the patient with a radioactive isotope which attaches to the red blood cells. This is great because on the scan it shows everywhere that oxygen is reaching, but they obviously only scan the heart.
They then put the patient on a treadmill and get their heart rate to the desired level. If the patient can't reach that level through fatigue or discomfort, they resort to an injection which stresses the heart. If you have heart disease, it suddenly feels like someone is sitting on your chest and breathing is very hard. This lasts for about 2 mins tops. They then take the patient to the scan room where they have to lay on their back, keeping still, for about 30 mins. Slowly you watch the machine go around the front of the chest as it takes images. They then send you away for about 2 hours and ask you to eat a fatty meal. When you return they administer a high dose of Nitrate to force the vessels fully open. This sudden drop in blood pressure causes many patients to get a thumping headache for about an hour. They now do a second scan for about 30 minutes.
The first scan was with the heart stressed, requiring more oxygen, the second was with the heart relaxed. The two sets of images are looked at by an analyst and looks to see if oxygen supply is less in the stress scan compared to the relaxed scan.
1. If the stress scan shows no increase in oxygen levels, then disease is likely and what they term reversible.
2. If both scans are dark in an area, the muscle has died and is irreversible.
3. If the scans show no difference in an area it can be interpreted also as a normal supply, but could be a blockage.
In the UK this scan is used more now to backup Angiograms if something isn't obvious after the procedure.

If fear is the main reason for holding back with the angiogram, why don't you ask for a ct-angio which is non invasive, and will give a calcium score. This will indicate if there is plaque in the arteries and how much. However, whatever scan you have, if they reveal heart disease of a substantial level, it will always lead back to the original option, an Angiogram.
Blank
212161_tn?1391090750
Wow great info, thanks for explaining all of that, I wil remember if I ever face this.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Top Heart Disease Answerers
976897_tn?1379171202
Blank
ed34
watford, United Kingdom
159619_tn?1318997813
Blank
erijon
Salt Lake City, UT
63984_tn?1385441539
Blank
Flycaster305
97303, OR
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
skydnsr
212161_tn?1391090750
Blank
heartfluttersflyawayplz
hoschton, GA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
BloodPressure Tracker
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Start Tracking Now
Blank
HeartRhythm Tracker
Track your Heart Condition
Start Tracking Now
Recent Activity
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
neato1 is ... Comment
22 hrs ago
5268376_tn?1406183312
Blank
Navywife21113 worried Comment
Jul 23
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
kmlksl66_ commented on An Insider’s Guide to...
Jul 21
Heart Disease Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Heart Disease Answerers
976897_tn?1379171202
Blank
ed34
watford, United Kingdom
159619_tn?1318997813
Blank
erijon
Salt Lake City, UT
63984_tn?1385441539
Blank
Flycaster305
97303, OR
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
skydnsr
212161_tn?1391090750
Blank
heartfluttersflyawayplz
hoschton, GA