Heart Disease Community
which test to take what to do
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which test to take what to do

My 49 year old brother died of a massive coronary 2 weeks ago. The autopsy showed advanced heart disease. All vessels occluded. Siblings were told to get checked for heart disease.

My father had a brother die aqt 31 of a massive coronary and his father died of the same thing at age 51. His sister died of a berry aneurysm at the age of 56. His mother died of a stroke at the age of 80.

I have recently found out that my maternal grandmothers siblings all died before the age of 60 from heart disease. My mothers siblings have not had a history of heart disease but of Alzheimers. My mother has had Breast Ca at the age of 60 which makes me high risk for breast cancer.

I am 52. I am on high blood pressure meds  Ramipril 10mg once a day and Hydroclorothiazide 25 mg once a day.
I am overweight at 5'7" and 200 lbs. I have been on blood pressure meds for 8 years.

I am currently on a weight loss regime to try and lose some weight. My weight is all at my middle and across my back and in my armpit, not my thighs or arms.

I had a CT of the coronary arteries done but they had a hard time getting my heart rate down and during the test it went back up so they could only comment on the left main coronary artery and told me that it was clear. the right side of my heart was blurry due to the heart rate.

They had said it can be repeated but I would have to see a cardiologist and get beta blockers perscribed for 5 days prior to the test to make sure my heart rate stays below 65 beats per minute.

I was told of the radiation risk in regards to repeating the test. A .3 of 1% increase in my lifetime risk of developing cancer.

My problem now is should I go ahead again or is there a safer way to get the answers I need.

My sister saw her Dr. and he said to have a Persanthium Thalium test done as opposed to the CT scan. Another sisters Dr. is running tests and then sending her to a Cardiologist to see how to proceed.

What would you suggest?

Thanks for any help you can give me
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4 Comments Post a Comment
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367994_tn?1304957193
It is true the heart rate should be below 60 bpm.  I had a CT scan a couple of years ago, and fortunately my heart rate was easily managed with medication...it may have been poor jugdement to go ahead with a CT scan without lowering the heart rate...expectation would be poor images.

An MRI provides images without any radiation exposure, and the current state-of-art CT scans have very little radiation exposure.  Knowing you have CAD with CT, etc. may be of no benefit as the knowledge would be to actively treat with medication, but having a family history of CAD and cholesterol elevation would require medication as well.

I have had a CT scan several years ago, and it showed calcium buildup of plaque between layers of vessel....that informationwas not unexpected as I have a stent, 72% closed vessel and a totally blocked LAD.  The CT scan is recommended when there are no symptoms of CAD and a family history.  The CT could show whether there is the beginning of CAD and therapy could begin immediately to prevent any further progression.

Hope this provides a perspective, and if yu have no further questions or comments you are welcome to respond.  Thanks for sharing, take care,

Ken
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Avatar_f_tn
i would get tested for heart since so many people in your family has died
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