I have been suffering from fast heart rate and palpitations since I was 15...four years now...and need help. I have had 3 EKGs recorded in front of me right now...but countless more. Below are those readings and all times I was told they were perfectly normal. I have had an abnormal Signal Averaged ECG which they said was probably a false positive. I have had 3 Echoes all showed completely normal except mild bending of the mitral valve. An MRI to check for ARVD and showed up completely normal. Below are my EKG findings.
10 Jan 2006:
Vent Rate: 95 bpm PR interval: 150 ms QRS Duration: 104 ms
QT/QTc: 344/432 ms P-R-T axes: 71 -13 76
Normal Sinus rhythm; Possible Left atrial enlargement, ST abnormality, possible digitalis effect; Abnormal ECG
1 Dec 2006
Vent Rate: 78 bpm PR interval: 154 ms QRS Duration: 118 ms
QT/QTc: 370/421 ms P-R-T axes: 77 -25 77
Normal sinus rhythm; Possible Left atrial enlargement; Incomplete right bundle branch block; (this was blacked out by a line) Cannot rule out Inferior infarct, age undetermined; Abnormal ECG
5 Feb 2007
Vent Rate: 73 bpm PR interval: 146 ms QRS Duration: 100 ms
QT/QTc: 354/389 ms P-R-T axes: 56 -9 95
Normal sinus rhythm; Incomplete right bundle branch block; (this was blacked out by a line and an arrow pointing to it saying "deleted") ST & T wave abnormality, consider lateral ischemia; Abnormal ECG
So with all of this what should I be worried about? What does my abnormal Signal Averaged ECG and my 3 abnormal ECGs mean???
I still have a fast heart rate and still take my Metoprolol. I also get dizzy, faint, and stressed out often
Don't settle for "probably a false positive" as you stated "they" said. See a Cardiologist, let him do another EKG or whatever other tests he/she wants to do. Then let him/her explain the results to you and don't leave the office until you have 100% understanding what he/she explained to you. Don't settle for a "probably false positive". Tell him/her you want to know what it is i.e. a false positive or not.
Both my husband and I had EKG's that stated we had a previous heart attack, after many tests the results showed we had NO previous heart attack. I have absolutely no faith in these computerized EKG's. Either find out what causes these machines to spit out all these "previous false heart attacks/probably false positives/false positives or go back to the old EKG's, but hey, the more false heart attacks and false positives the more tests need to be done on the patients which brings in more money so why find the cause of the problem?? The Cardiologist I saw even said "he is sick and tired of all these false heart attacks these EKG machines are spitting out". When I told him to get in touch with the manifacturer and tell them to find out "why" I got total silence. Go figure!
My supposition is that they are keeping themselves from liability by blowing the slightest thing out of proportion and making the doctors shoulder the burden. It's not just ecg's, NPR did a recent report on the computer spitting out so many "suspicious" things on perfectly fine mammograms the doctors can't even read the mammograms for all the unneccessary flags the machine put on the films.
In the end, it's all about liability and, unfortunately, people with a propensity to fret are punished most by this buck passing. My mother got one of those false heart attacks on her ecg and her other tests showed no previous heart attack. She didn't fret any about the false ecg, but was terrified of the stress test she had to endure to disprove it.
Perhaps the solution is for GPs to stop doing ekgs altogether if they are not secure in their own ability to read the results. Perhaps, after a certain age, or with certain complaint, people, especially people who present with a lot of anxiety to begin with, should just be referred right to a cardiologist who can read the darn thing him or herself and tell them if they are fine from the get go.
This said, no one can ever truthfully state to someone that they are 100% fine, just that the testing indicates no problem and they are probably 100% fine.
Thanks for telling me about the mammos I did not know that. I too felt like your mother (my husband doesn't worry about anything :) he took the tests the Cardiologist had ordered for him, and didn't worry about it. end of stor) I however was in great suspense because the Cardiologist told me and I did read about it that you can have a "silent" heart attack. The suspense until the test results came back, if indeed I had a silent heart attack i.e. "how much damage was done to my heart, is that why my PVC's increased lateley, last month I had nausea was that the silent heart attack" and on and on.
I need to mention that a Cardiologist did another EKG on me (before the tests) which did NOT show a previous heart attack, but I still had to go through all these tests. I asked the Cardiologist if there was anything on that second EKG which was out of whack and he said it was normal. I asked for a copy of the EKG and showed it to our son, he knows how to read EKG's since his job requires it, he looked at it/read it and he told me that the second EKG was indeed normal.
But I still had to go through all these tests just because "one" EKG showed a "false heart attack" and the Cardiologist admitting that "to many false MI's are spitting out".
It's good to have these tools but they are far from perfect. It's all we've got for now.
I guess from the doc's perspective ("first do no harm") it's better safe than sorry. Better for us too. The idea was sort of a computer-assisted second opinion. Too bad it seems sometines the computer is a HAL 9000. ;-)
Still, if the computer interpretations were a bit less sensitive, it could save many people a lot of worry/grief and all of us, as individuals and as a society, a lot of money as well.
I hope it all improves in future, but the makers of the machines and interpretive software have to know that they are more likely to be sued for being under cautious than sued for being over cautious. So that means dragging us all back in for more testing.
The litigation avoidance theory is the first thing that occured to me, perhaps because I live in DC and it seems practically every third person here is a lawyer of some sort :-D
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