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Cardiac Stress Test Vs. Cardiopulmonary Stress Test


I almost fainted two weeks ago doing light cardio at my gym. I had an EKG and ultrasound of the heart today. Everything came back fine. My primary care physician is sending me for a cardiac stress test. I was debating on whether I should ask for a cardiopulmonary stress test instead. I have difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Also, I have low blood oxygen (High Hemoglobin and High Hematocrit) and low carbon dioxide. I know the cardiopulmonary stress test measures gas exchange during exercise. I just don't want to have to do both tests at some point, if there is nothing wrong with my heart. Is a cardiac stress test sufficient? Would it be odd for me to call my PCP and request the test? The test is being performed at a cardiology office. I don't know if they would be able to change the test without a doctors consent. I'm assuming that I will only be dealing with technicians that perform the test and not a cardiologist.

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367994 tn?1304953593
By ultrasound are you referring to an echocardiogram and i assume you are.  An echo can measure intra chamber pressures.  The pulmonary artery would have higher than normal if there is pulmonary embolism (clots) in the lungs and occlusions within the vessel (thrombosis).  Sensitivity is 80 to 100%.

If you have known respiratory problems, I agree a cardiopulmonary exercise testing provides better information than traditional treadmill stress tests. The test will diagnose exercise induced reductions in blood slow to the heart. The test also provides doctor data on gas exchanges in the lungs at rest and during exercise and yields breath-by-breath measures of oxygen uptake. Combining these findings with data traditionally obtained by cardiologists from treadmill would be more appropriate it seems to me.

Thanks for the question, and I wish you well going forward.  Take care,

Ken
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