Was it ST segment depression? There are many causes of that only one of which is digitalis which obviously isn't it if you've never taken that medication. What is your age and sex? I have St segment depression on EKGs and it is considered a normal variant since I have had a nuclear stress test that shows that I have no ischemia. In other words, as long as they have done tests to make sure you have no blockages and no part of your heart is ischemic (not getting enough oxygen)then it is likely nothing to be concerned about.
I am a 42 year old woman, not overweight and am pretty healthy. My sons ped cardiologist looked at my ECG because we are being screened for Long QT Syndrome and she said that my ST looked funny and should be checked out in an Echo.
I've no more faith in the new computerized EKG's and refuse to have another one taken. Here is why: My EKG showed that I had a previous heart attack sometime in the past. Well, I didn't think so but heard that you can have a heart attack wihout pain or any symptoms. I was referred to a Cardiologist whose very first words were "Don't worry since the EKG's are now computerized I get so many "false previous heart attacks" just to find out that people never had a heart attack". I had to go through numerous tests including a TEE test where they put a tube down your throat into your chest to see your heart/ heart valves/ and any kind of damage. Long story short I've a healthy heart, never had a heart attack in the past etc etc. I don't need that. Untill all these tests came back I was worried sick "what if, and how bad is my heart damaged from this previous silent heart attack"??? All the Cardiologist had to say was "I figured you didn't have a heart attack but since the EKG stated you had one I had to run all this tests to be sure, these damn computerized things".
I say if they give so many "false silent previous heart attacks" as this Cardiologist stated then go back to the old EKG's.
I know this post was over a year ago, but, I have been looking up sites that might explain my ECG. Mine, too, last April, said ST Abnormalities, possible Digitalis effect. Well, what the heck does that mean, I have never taken the stuff. I told the ER doc to check it against one I had in 2004, and they did and they looked almost identical, but, since the machine said it was abnormal, they went through the entire heart attack protocol of putting me on oxygen, giving my beta blockers and my blood pressure is already a low normal. Then, they admit me for 10 hours to watch me and to take troponin levels, etc. All this time, they are telling me I am not a heart attack risk, and to not worry, well, geez, who wouldn't, I was absolutely petrified. Anyway, they did another ECK, and more blood work later, and all was well, I do not know what the other ECG said, but, they told me if it was no worse or even better, they would send me home, which they did. They said I was a very low risk heart attack candidate, but, since that damn machine said what it did, they had to take precautions. I know this sounds awful, but, I think one reason they admitted was because the hospital had NO patients at all, and they have needed some one. That is nasty, but one does wonder. Anyway, since that night in April, I have been a basket case. I have been told by other docs to not worry, that these new ECG machine give false readings, but, I am a worrier, and I worry all the time.
I guess the joke was on me, I went in that night for bad back spasms, the doc was getting ready to send me home, and I, like a smart elec, asked for the ECG. I have since found out my back spasms are due to a very bad case of hyper-kyphosis and costochondritis, ugh.
I was really surprised at the ECG results as I have perfect blood pressure, a great ankle/arm index, resting pulse is text book, and in 2004 when I was scared with PVC's, a holter monitor and its readings were OUTSTANDING, (doctors quote). Yes, I have PVC's too, but, they are benign, they just scare me, praise God, I only get zero to 3 a day, if that even, usually when I am uptight, or eat a lot and my hiatal hernia causes them to act up.
Gosh, I wish folks would not depend so much on computers. Anyway, Barbella, I am with you, I know longer trust those darn things, some things are better left the old way.
Thanks for letting me vent, even if it is a year later, this is the first time I have seen this title in the forum, I was beginning to give up.
I recently had an EKG for family history. My son's EKG came back with borderline prolonged QT, which we are going to see a pediatric cardiologist.
My results came back stating Normal Sinus Rhythm, but showed a Right Atrial Enlargement, ST abnormality, digitalis effect, abnormal ECG. What does all this mean? For the past year, I have had several MRI's for left leg pain, dizziness/weakness. Could this be causing it?
A few years ago, I went in for pre-admission testing for cataract surgery. I was 47 at the time.
When the ECG was taken, I looked at the strip and asked for a copy, which was run for me. I'm well acquainted with reading ECG's, due to my many years of military EMS duties and really didn't like the look of the thing.
It too gave the same complaint. I also knew I was throwing PVC's at times to beat the band.
I took it to my primary physician, who took a look at the pattern and asked if I could see a cardiologist tomorrow, as I was home on leave from the war zone.
I saw the cardiologist the next day and after getting the ECG, he proclaimed that I had a heart attack. I flatly told him that I didn't, but can understand how I have cardiac damage.
He persisted and since I had excellent health insurance, I went for a nuclear stress test, then a cardiac cath procedure.
All came up normal and the cardiologist proclaimed that I didn't have heart disease or have had a heart attack. The maximum was 10-14% in one artery worth of blockage. He then asked me what I thought was causing the strange readings on the ECG and my PVC's.
I explained that I had been electrocuted, but had no hospitalization, many times over the years AND the previous week had had a heat stroke. I frankly told him that I was shocked that my liver and kidneys weren't significantly damaged at all.
He was surprised, but admitted that cardiac damage can occur with a heat stroke, as well as liver and kidney damage, not to mention brain damage, with only heart damage of a mild degree being displayed.
He advised I go back to taking statins and I related it was impossible, as EVERY statin I've ever tried (6 different types now) resulted in my going into rhabdo and I'm REALLY attached to both my muscles and my kidneys.
He agreed, but then admonished me to stop drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.
Still doing both. Still here. Still having the occasional run of PVC's that pretty much qualify as V-tach, but eventually subside.
The problem today is this: Our new medical tests and diagnostic equipment detect things that can be normal in some patients, masses that are "normal" findings that typically might be found at autopsy, never having caused distress for a lifetime and differences from what is considered a normal baseline. Over time, this gets addressed as experience grows with the new diagnostics and equipment, but I also prefer to err on the side of caution.
We can fix pretty much anything. Except dead.
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