Heart Stress Test – Prognosis and Recommendations

January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

I wrote about my Dad’s condition with Coronary Heart Disease and how it ultimately led to him passing away. I went and got consultation with a Cardiologist and these were the steps that we followed:

  1. Blood work
  2. Cardiac CT Scan
  3. Stress Test
Blood work was done to test my Sodium, Potassium, LDL, HDL and diabetes levels. This is first indicators of something going wrong with your body function. There are ranges prescribed by the Heart Associations. We checked and found out that my basic measures are all within range. My blood pressure was “excellent” according to my doctor. Once we had done this, my doctor recommended that we get a Cardiac CT Scan done and I did that last month, the results were surprising to say the least. I have what is known as the Atherosclerosis which is a fancy word to say that there is hardening of my arteries and in my case the small artery. My doctor right away recommended that we go on a lipid lowering drug regime. I take 40mg of atorvastatin everyday since he prescribed it and will go in for more blood work in another couple of weeks.

Heart function under stress
Yesterday we did the Stress Test, basically a number of nodes were attached to my chest and I was on stationary bicycle. The peddling became harder and harder, the doctor kept recording my blood pressure and the machine was recording the beating of all the arteries that go to my heart. All I saw was about 10 graphs that were showing the regularly going up and down, which I believe is the beating rhythm of my heart. The doctor explained to me the stress levels and how they see if there is any abnormality when the heart is working at its peak. He gave a passing grade on all the analysis, which means there is no depravity of Oxygen or Blood Flow to my Heart when it is put under stress which is good because if there is a symptom of either a Oxygen or Blood Flow depravity then it leads to a stroke or heart attack. The prognosis is that I can continue with all my physical activity i.e running without any constrain.

He recommended the South Beach Diet basically reducing the consumption of simple carbohydrates like white bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, candy and alcohol but increase consumption of complex carbohydrates.

Drug and Treatment

He pointed me to two recent studies, the Reversal Study and the Saturn Study. Both studies point to a method of treatment that my doctor wants me to follow.“This study demonstrates that the highest doses of the most effective statins currently available is safe, well tolerated and produces marked plaque regression,” said Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Stephen Nicholls, MD, PhD, lead investigator of the trial. The finding that these therapies produced low levels of LDL, raised HDL and removed plaque from the artery wall in a safe manner is positive news for patients with heart disease.” The bottom line is that when one goes through an aggressive lipid lowering drug regime i.e 80mg of Atorvastatin or Rosuvostatin, they found that it actually reversed the case of Atherosclerosis. My doctor wanted me to continue the 40mg dosage for another couple of weeks and ensure that there are no side effects before bumping my dosage. The saturn study was designed to measure the impact of CRESTOR (rosuvastatin) 40 mg and atorvastatin 80 mg on the progression of atherosclerosis in high risk patients sponsored by Astra Zeneca and their findings are here.

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