Heart & Cardiology/reasoning for specific types of stress tests
Hello Dr. Richardson,
Recently, I had an event of chest pain and tachycardia. Paramedics thought depression in V4 V5 so took me to ER. ER EKG showed no depression, but I was kept for 24 hr observation & scheduled for out patient stress test and echo.
Echo showed nothing remarkable. Stress test showed something slight upon inclination, but I was told that sometimes regular stress tests show false pos there for women.
I have no family history of heart disease (a mother with a-fib), cholesterol 175. Cardiologist said I could go for a nuclear stress test, but could also wait and monitor condition, and call if I experience any more chest pain, particularly with exercise.
In 2002 I had an echo stress test (chest pain, anemic, mild murmur)in another state so different cardiologist.
I understand that both echo-stress & nuclear stress provide more accurate information. Nuclear stress with radiation sounds a little scary to me, so I took the wait and see option.
What is the benefit, or different reasoning to schedule a nuclear stress vs. echo-stress? Had this dr suggested an echo-stress option now, I probably would have taken it just to be sure, yet I forgot to ask why nuclear would be needed vs echo-stress.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Echo and nuclear stress tests are equally sensitive. The amount of radioisotope injected for a nuclear stress test is minimal, less than a chest x-ray, but it has no benefit over echo in sensitivity.
Please write back if this note doesn’t answer all your questions.