Are there tests for blocked arteries? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Are there tests for blocked arteries?

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6

Are there any tests that can be done by ur GP if you suspect ur arteries are blocked? ( i.e blood tests) Since march I have had a constant ache across chest area every day, and feeling in the face of not getting enough oxygen- purplish complexion and veins are enlarged. My GP decided to stop a beta blocker I was on for a month for tachycardia and I have read that stopping them can exacerbate angina/cause heart attack:cause heart failure. I had a ct scan in 2016 which showed moderate atheroma but I had no problems with it no pains , nothing. I was put on a beta blocker in February for a high pulse on exertion. After stopping of beta blocker in March my symptoms changed to constant chest ache/ palpitations /high pulse on exertion and feelings of lack of oxygen. I saw a cardiologist privately. A stress echo was normal and a 24 hr blood pressure was normal. He says my body has become hypersensitive and I need a longer acting beta blocker. He swapped me from propanalol 10mg to bisoprolol 1.25 which is better but all the symptoms I got when propanalol was stopped are still there. Looking for advice. Feel I'm stuck in limbo with new symptoms that no one is bothered about. I don't want to exercise much at all. Sorry for long post. Thank you for reading.

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MichaelJH
MichaelJHHeart Star

This seems a tricky one and I doubt there are many relevant tests your GP can carry out. As you mention your face a cartoid artery scan (simple ultrasound) could be carried out. Beyond that a repeat of the CT scan as things can change over the years.

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to MichaelJH

Thank you Michael. Would a gp request that scan or a cardiologist?

MichaelJH
MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Caitlyn6

I think the cartoid artery one (they feed brain, neck and face) by either as it is a simple and quick test. CT scan probably has to be a cardiologist.

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to MichaelJH

Great

ECG will reveal ischemia or ischemic this will prompt profusion or angiogram

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to Deanosbeano

Thank u

A nuclear stress test will show damaged heart muscle and will indicate if you are suffering restricted flow from the arteries supplying these muscles, otherwise an angiogram is more accurate at pinpointing areas of significant atherosclerosis.

These are both quite expensive tests and require exposure to radioactive dyes.

Worrying about these things doesn't help, but taking positive action can help a lot.

There is so much data out there to help people, but ultimately you must help yourself. Medication can only do so much. My cardiologist said to me, 'only you can control your lifestyle, what you eat and how much exercise you get, all the meds available are less effective than a good pair of walking shoes and using them'.

Good luck

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to tunybgur

You see I was running 4K every day and walking my dog daily before these problems started. Now I can cycle in the gym and just walk the dog. I love exercise but I know something is not right. I guess it will just have to get worse before it hits the drs radar. Chest pains and palpitations clearly not enough for some drs.

tunybgur
tunybgur in reply to Caitlyn6

My wife had a similar problem, she was suffering fainting spells but every test came back normal, her pulse would drop to under 30 but never when at the docs or having an ecg.

The GP said next time it happens call an ambulance, she ended up having a pacemaker fitted and is fine now.

Often chronic problems are difficult to diagnose and the NHS are under such pressure if it's not immediately life threatening you go to the back of the queue.

Difficult one but often the body repairs itself over time, have you had a second opinion?

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to tunybgur

No I have seen a private cardiologist 4 times in 3 months but he thinks there is nothing immediately wrong with the functioning of my heart. And says if I ask for more invasive tests on arteries etc I may do more damage than good.

Caitlyn6
Caitlyn6 in reply to tunybgur

Thank you

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