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Does an echo detect heart disease?
I have been having shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue for quite a while now. Most days now i feel pretty miserable. I have lost count of how many ekgs and other tests i have had. My ekg's always come back saying i have inverted t-wave and to consider possible ischemia. I was told by my gp that my ekg results were not normal and that it could be Ischemia. He sent me for a stress test and that came back normal. But the doctors at emergency tell me my ekg results have been the same for the past 2 years with no changes so it could all just be my new normal. I've also recently had an echo and it came back fine. My heart is functioning how it should. I asked the ultrasound tech before my echo if it would detect blockages and she told me it would not, but i'm after reading online of people being diagnosed with heart disease through echos. Early heart disease runs in my family and i already have mild peripheral artery disease in one of my legs at 29. Unfortunately every doctor i see keeps telling me i have had enough tests done and that I'm too young to have heart troubles...but yet my symptoms remain and seem to be getting worse as time goes by. I'm just wondering if i had any heart disease or blockages of the heart would an echo show some signs of this at all? After being told so many different things by different doctors I don't know what to think anymore.
Catty350, November 17, 2019 12:21am EST
Have your GP refer you to a cardiologist, if you don’t already have one. Do your research to make sure the cardiologist has sufficient experience, good references and you are comfortable with him/her. The cardiologist should review the results of all the tests you have had to date. Don’t rely on your GP or the ER for a diagnosis. A cardiologist can determine whether or not other diagnostic tests are necessary. If you have a cardiologist and are not satisfied, find another. I had surgery on my mitral valve in June 2018, but prior to having surgery scheduled, I had a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) to get a better picture of my heart valves and arteries. This was after an echocardiogram showed my mitral valve condition had worsened. Fortunately the TEE showed my arteries were clear and the only problem was the mitral valve. I know it’s frustrating and scary, but you are in control. Keep on it until you are satisfied. Good luck.
THoMC, November 19, 2019 3:53pm EST
I am not an expert. I am not a professional.
For my experience with a murmur, an echo was ordered. The echo was ordered because of a murmur.
Valve disease was discovered by the echo. The valve disease had not yet progressed to the point of intervention.
I then had periodic echo tests for a couple years to monitor the calcified aortic valve with stensosis.
I had aortic valve replacement surgery. Before the surgery, the surgeon also ordered a CT scan to, I think, inspect the heart arteries in case I had clogged arteries (which I did not) and also of my aorta, possibly something else related to the aortic valve but I am not sure.
After my surgery, I had an echo for the cardiologist to assess my post-surgery aortic valve.
I had another echo months later as a periodic check of my valve. I am cured. No murmeur. Nothing wrong with my heart. Nothing wrong with my replacement valve.
I will be back again for an echo to look at my aortic valve.
mabi2019, November 28, 2019 6:56am EST
Your comment about ECG always being normal is something I was going through as well. I'm 60 and was recently travelling in europe when I didn't feel right. I went to a clinic and they did an ECG. But they were also doing a Clinical Study using a new device which is a kind of ECG with additional sensors and processed by artificial intelligence. Since it was harmless, I agreed. Test 1, was the Classic ECG. Result was only showing a minor Sinus Rhythm. Nothing to worry about. Then they used this study device, WOW! Red flags in two places. Tricuspid Valve insufficiency was moderate and LV Hypertrophy was moderate.
What was shocking is that ECG is "supposed" to diagnose LV Hypertrophy - but it didn't. The doctor was not surprised, she had grown used to seeing these differences between regular ECG and this new device. It basically works same as ECG but has a few extra sensors. It's made by some Canadian company. Doctor said she really wants to keep this device as she was seeing many situations like my own where ECG was perfectly normal, but ... heart was not.
She sent me to a cardiologist for a full Echocardiograph and the cardiologist confirmed the diagnosis but lowered the TV insufficiency to mild. I was pretty lucky walking into a clinic doing this study. I had no idea ECG was so limited. I sure hope that device comes to Pennsylvania soon.