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purpose of cardiac stress test?
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purpose of cardiac stress test?

Why would someone that has never had a heart attack need a cardiac stress test every 6 months?
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63984_tn?1385441539
Your should give more information.  Is the person yourself?  Have you had symptoms of heart problems, like irregular heart beats, high cholesterol, high blood pressure?  Do you smoke?  Are you overweight?   Are you working out regularly?

I would think that the doctor feels that the person has multiple risk factors to schedule a stress test every six months.  
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976897_tn?1379171202
How about valve surgery? or having been diagnosed with a valve problem?
Some Cardiologists like to monitor this with frequent stress tests.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's not me.  It's my mother.  She is 80.  Takes cholesterol medication.  No Hx of heart attack or valve damage.  Has had a stroke due to a protein in her blood.  Now takes coumadin to control that.  Other than that - no other major health issues.   Just seems unnecessary to do a stress test every 6 months.
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367994_tn?1304957193
A echocardiogram (doppler) is the test I have every few years and I have moderate to severe mitral regurgitation. Echo (doppler).  Also, there is some reliabilty based on shortness of breath symptoms, and I was told if I get shortness of breath a valve replacement or repair would be considered.

The doppler provides a visual view of the size and shape of your heart valves and chambers, how well your heart is pumping blood and whether a valve is narrowed or has backflow...A stress test will show how hard the heart works and don't really isolate the underlying cause. It is my understanding and confirmed "An exercise stress test may also be considered in asymptomatic patients who have two or more risk factors for coronary artery disease or a concurrent chronic disease, such as diabetes, that carries a high risk of coronary disease. Patients with valvular disorders (except those with hemodynamically significant aortic stenosis) may undergo an exercise stress test to evaluate their functional capacity." Generally, heart valve disorder or coronary occlusons are a slow process and it seems every 6 months is excessive...do you have symptoms of chest pain, etc.?  If your doctor is so concerned about your vessel anatomy there should be an analysis with MRI, CT scan angiography or cath with ultrasound.

I agree with Flycaster You should consult for more information with your doctor regarding frequency of stress tests?! ...especially if you are a symptomatic. Take care and thanks for the questions,

Ken

Ken


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976897_tn?1379171202
"" Generally, heart valve disorder  are a slow process and it seems every 6 months is excessive"

seems by whom? The whole of Europe in may this year decided that echo dopplers at rest for evaluating valves is useless because when the heart works harder, often the dynamics of the valves alter and the true picture is missed at rest. It was also decided a 6 monthly monitoring program would be the best professional move.
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Avatar_n_tn
Turns out my mother was confused.  She only has the stress test once a year - which still seems a little excessive to me, but she loves her cardiologist and trusts him so.....     Also, he was voted a top cardiologist in Dallas for several years, so I guess I'll just drop it and let her go thru the test 1 / year.  
Thanks for all the answers.
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367994_tn?1304957193
Not exactly true...echo IS not the appropriate test for valve for non-compliance.  It is a doppler that color codes forward blood flow and blood back flow....I have moderate to severe MVR for more than 7 years and a stress test is not given on regular intervals. The echo shows the size and shape of your heart valves and chambers.  How well your heart is pumping blood and whether a valve is narrowed or has backflow.

A stress test can show whether you have signs and symptoms of heart valve disease when your heart is working hard. It can help your doctor assess the severity of your heart valve disease and a test is not given every 6 months!
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