Is doing the stress test the best way to find any blockage in the heart?

February 25, 2010

Blockages in the arteries of the heart can either reduce or completely stop the flow of blood to a specific part of the heart. This typically causes a clot to develop which prevents flow of blood in the coronary artery. This condition results in a heart attack or malfunctioning of some part of the heart. Irreversible damage to the heart can happen if medical treatment is not done in time. A heart attack can be identified by several symptoms which occur either in isolation or combination of two or more depending on the intensity of the attack. Some of the symptoms that one should look for to determine whether they would suffer from a heart attack include extremely high chest pain and sudden increase in pressure on the chest, breathlessness, vomiting sensation, neck pain, stiffness in the arm muscles, pain in the jaw and intense sweating.

A stress test can be beneficial in identifying the partial blockages in the patient's coronary arteries. The stress test is especially good in cases where there is a possibility of coronary artery disease or CAD being missed if the patient is at rest. Here the cardiac abnormalities will be highlighted when the heart is made to perform under increased workloads of stress. This test helps to evaluate the heart and the vascular system while exercising. It also helps to figure out if CAD is only present when the heart of the patient is stressed by the exercise and if there is some underlying heart disease and its severity. It is also useful in diagnosing CAD that is creating blockages in the patient's coronary arteries which are the arteries that help to supply the blood to the heart muscle.

If there is a partial blockage present, then the heart muscle that receives blood from the partially blocked arteries would end up getting the required blood only in its resting state. If the patient with such a partial blockage does any kind of exercise then the artery may possibly be unable to supply all the needed blood to the heart muscle. If a part of the heart does not receive the required blood flow it can become oxygen starved or it can become ischemic. This can then lead to causation of angina and any other changes on an ECG. This can also lead to variations in the heart's rhythm or in its blood pressure. It is vital to note that a stress test can aid in diagnosing CAD that produces partial blockages in the arteries.

Submitted by M T on February 25, 2010 at 02:06

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