Ask the Doctors: Stress Test & Alternatives; Enlarged Right Atrium; Heart Attack & its Many Different Systems


Six months ago I had a stress test and was given a clean bill of health. Last week I felt chest pain, went to the ER and was given a stent—my third in five years. If a stress test isn’t the right test for monitoring my heart, what else should my doctor be doing?

A stress test enables the doctor to visualize blood flow to the heart at rest and under a stressor, such as exercise. The test will reveal a problem only if the amount of plaque in a coronary artery is above a certain percentage or is limiting blood flow. Therefore, stress tests are good for predicting heart attack risk in someone with stable coronary artery disease. It’s important to understand that a “normal” result means you have a low risk of heart attack, not no risk.

To continue reading this article or issue you must be a paid subscriber. Sign in

Subscribe to Heart Advisor

Get the next year of Heart Advisor for just $20. And access all of our online content - over 2,000 articles - free of charge.
Subscribe today and save 38%. It's like getting 5 months FREE!
Already Subscribed?
Click Here to Sign In | Forgot your password? | Activate Web Access