29 September 2011

Cardiac stress test and echocardiogram, part two

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Today was not a bike-commute day because of a 7 a.m. appointment for a more definitive stress test. Last week's test showed an area of concern that my doctor wanted to check out with a procedure that combines a cardiac stress test on a treadmill and CAT scans before and after the exercise. (While at the doctor's office, I got a copy of the test report, which reads in part, "There was 1 to 1.5 mm of horizontal ST segment depression laterally suggestive of ischemia.")

The procedure took a bit over three hours. First I was given a radioactive marker by intravenous, after which I had to wait 30 minutes for the material to "settle" in the veins and arteries of my heart. Then I was placed in the CAT machine for a localized scan of the thorax. This was followed by a treadmill stress test that aimed to bring my heart rate up to about 130 bpm in 5 stages. During the fifth stage, another dose of the radioactive marker was injected into the IV. I rested long enough for recovery to normal heart rate and a total of 30 minutes for the isotope to find its way to the cardiac vessels. The final step was another CAT scan.

I should hear the results early next week.

What runs counter to the charting is that I have no pain on exertion. So, perhaps it's good that I pursued what the genetics have produced in me, despite my care to keep active into maturity.

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