Chemical stress test

Just had a check up with my cardiologist. Everything seems fine with my pacemaker. I have bradycardia. I did complain about getting winded when exercising heavily, more than I us to. He suggest I use my albuterol inhaler before I exercise. If that does not work he said I should have a, Chemical stress test. I have no idea what that is. How bad is it. I do not like the sound of it Had a tredmill stress with a heart rate of 30 that is what got me  this pacemaker. I would be grateful for any feed back.



chemical stress test--keep it in perspective

by Gotrhythm - 2018-02-26 12:10:24

It does sound a little scary, I guess, but it's really just like the treadmill, but instead of having you walk as fast as you can on a treadmill to get your heart rate up, you lie down and they give you a medicine (chemilcal) to make your heart beat faster. 

I had it a few months ago. My heart rate speeding up was a little uncomfortable for a few seconds but when it became too uncomfortable I told the tech and he gave me another drug that instantly reversed the effects of the first one.

Today, I have to go the dentist to replace a temporary crown with a permanent one. They won't even have to do novacain. I'll tell you the truth. Anything the dentist has ever done, and I'm including cleanings, is more uncomfortable and takes longer than a stress test.

Here's the skinny

by donr - 2018-02-28 23:13:28

Three other commments

by donr - 2018-02-07 20:32:35 Edit

Below arethree other comments from about 2 yrs ago.  First is mine.  This is the Lexiscan version of the test.  Lexiscan does NOT accelerate the heart - it dilates the coronary arteries to simulate the stressing of the heart.

Word of warning - If there is NOT a "Crash Cart" close by, like w/i reach of the ooperator, SPRINT, don't run, to the nearest exit.  Don't come back.  The frirst time I took it, there was no cart in sight.  Second time, it was right at the foot of the chair bed I was lying on & the nurses operator commented on how close it was - almost in her way.  This is not considered a dangerous test, but when things happen, apparently they happen fast.




by donr

2016-04-12 09:04:38

Conditions, Meds & Tests




Sometime in the last month someone asked about the Lexiscan chemical stress test. Well, I just had one on Mon, 11 Apr (2016) & made a mental note to give some details about it for those interested.

Apparently everyone reacts differently to the test & an individual's reaction may NOT be the same in successive tests a year or so apart.

I had my last one THREE yrs ago & it was a real disaster - the most unpleasant experience I've ever experienced in testing. The effects came on in a rush & were most unpleasant - very bad SOB & a very light headed feeling for several minutes, followed by a headache.

I did NOT look fwd to this one & became very stressed out about it over the three week run-up to the test.

Here's what happened: I was first in the queue Mon AM. There were 4 of us, all multiple time victims. One of us was in for their THIRD go-round. Her experience was different on each of the first two, so she had zero idea what to expect this time around.

They use an artificially made radioactive tracer element called Technecium w/ a half-life of 6 hours, so it is all expelled from your body in about 5 half-lives - about 30 hrs. The tracer is used in several different scans & is mixed w/ different meds for the different parts of the body being scanned. They told me the name of the med used for heart muscle, but I cannot recall it.

They give you a small dose of it IV to start, you sit for 30 min for it to be absorbed by heart muscle & then lie on a scanner bed while a large head rotates about the chest scanning for the radioactivity from the heart muscle. It creates a whole slug of images showing where the Technecium gets absorbed while the heart is unstressed.

now comes the exciting part! they hook you up to an ECG & BP monitor & bring in two hypos - one w/ a second dose of Technecium & the other filled w/ the Lexiscan med. Here's how fast this goes: The nurse injects the Lexiscan into your IV, (the IV is in the back of the hand) followed by a small slug of saline to ensure all of the Lexiscan is in you. Then IMMEDIATELY the nuclear tech gives you the tracer.

It takes about 7 - 10 seconds for you to feel the effects & they are DRAMATIC! Suddenly you become very SOB & struggle to breathe. Then your BP drops like a stone as the Lexiscan med dilates your coronary arteries. You feel VERY light-headed & fuzzy. Also pretty darned weak. This lasts for perhaps a minute & you start coming back. W/i 5 min you are pretty near back to normal. You feel pretty washed out at this point & well may have a headache of variable severity, due to the arteries to the brain also being dilated. A decent cup of coffee clears that up in short order.

You sit for a while & then it's back to the scanner for a "Picture " of where the blood went while the heart was stressed & dilated. This time they hook you up to an ECG machine while taking the images.

The scans take 13min each. Total time for me was 3 hours from registration to walking out the door to leave.

For me this one was nowhere near as unpleasant as the first one - but I'm not volunteering for another one any time soon.




Lexiscan Victim !!

by donb - 2016-04-13 09:04:36

Hi Don !! Congratulations !! You survived, as I've been patiently looking forward reading someone posting on this procedure. You may remember my experience a few years ago & I did not have the "heart" to cover the procedure at the time.
I went online at the time & found very sound procedure to be complied while being given this test. In my case not one item complied with administering this drug.
Presently both my wife & I are due for this test & all the prior drugs are no longer used & our local GP even evades.
I haven't even had the courage to check online to see what the guidelines are now, also fatality figure is ??
Quite a day !! Wife Sharon (retired cardiac nurse) just came home as she took another nurse co-worker back to her Cardio
Doctor for after effects she's having from her Cardio Stress test 2 days ago.
I'll end this now on a happy note !! Lexiscan is now tops in Cardiac tests and more precautions are being used.
As I don't want to go into more detail but I was very fortunate to not fall into the 5% Fatality.

Me too!

by tammyjk1021 - 2016-05-26 05:05:51

I put this test off as long as possible until my husband threatened me with bodily injury lol. I was very comforted by the low fatality rates and in fact asked my test giver "how many people have issues". I was told "only those with very serious problems have issues and you have nothing to worry about." That helped.

I knew from my pacer checks that I needed to occupy my mind while under the stress of this test. Since it was mother's day, I took the card my daughter had made me to read. It helped soooo much. My biggest advice to anyone is to ask questions that bother you, keep your mind occupied and breathe breathe! Breathe through your mouth and out through your nose. That will also help."

chemical stress test

by softball35 - 2018-02-28 23:30:59

A treadmill test can not be done if you have a pacemaker.  It leaves an artifact according to my doctor.  Not sure what that means but I had the stress test last year.  A drug is injected that makes your heart react as if you had just excercised vigorously.  Nothing to it.  The doctor then took pictures of my heart during the process.  Nothing to it.  If there is something wrong you want to know about it now, not after it is too late.  I had a pacemaker inserted and I had ablation seven years ago.  I was shocked that I needed it.  But I am more active now than ever.  I wasted a lot of time worrying about both procedures.  Just do it.  Good luck.

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