Hi, I've been reading here for a couple of years but this is my first post. I found the forum when, almost 2 years ago, I suddenly had a lot of ectopic heartbeats. I was in the shower and stressed out and they just suddenly started. I was having stomach pain at the time (stress) and after a couple of weeks went to the Dr. who diagnosed me with probable ulcer/gastritis. Was on Nexium for 3 months and the PVC's went away pretty much completely. (Had an EKG of course, and it was fine, just showing PVC's.)
They came back about 6 weeks ago, again, out of the blue (again with the life stress). This time I decided to go to the ER to get them checked out. Blood, chest x-ray, ekg all normal except for frequent PVCS. Blood pressure was very high but I have white coat hypertension and it goes down when I get home. A 24 hour holter monitor showed 11% pvcs. Cardiologist ordered echo and treadmill stress test. I think as much for the high blood pressure as for the PVCs. He didn't seem to have any faith in the fact that my blood pressure was purely White Coat.
But I am an RN, and check it regularly, and I know that my BP is normal. Echo was normal. Positive stress test, potentially false positive according to the cardiologist, due to elevated blood pressure(white coat) during the test (they gave me cardizem before the test. They wouldn't go through with it until my BP was down.)
The PVC's are much, much less than the 11% now. I will be having a 2 week holter monitor when I get back home (out of town for 2 weeks). The cardiologist doesn't trust that they are actually slowing down, but I feel every single one and know that they are definitely (at worst) less than half of what they were on the first 24 hour holter monitor. I have trouble taking any BP meds (though they practically insist) because my BP drops so low when I'm away from medical situations. Also, my resting pulse is usually 56-60 and when it goes lower due to meds I feel garbagy.
Now I have a cardiac PET stress test ordered for this upcoming week and I wonder if my white coat hypertension can give me another potential false positive test. I have an anaphylactic allergy to contrast dye and this cardiologist thinks this is the best test for me. I would much prefer something less invasive such as an advanced XRAY, a CT without contrast, or a calcium scan.
I'm 55 and have no family history of heart disease. Does it seem like they are being aggressive or just taking prudent steps? Thanks for any insight.