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Scheduled for diagnostic heart catheter...


wsc
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I've had several EKG's in the last week. They were all abnormal, showing ST-T changes. Anyone know anything about EKG's? i looked on line, and all I could find is how it relates to having a heart attack, which I certainly didn't have. I'm only 24! Although, I did have renal failure with my pregnanct....maybe that caused cardiac injury? Anyway, I'm scheduled for a heart cath in January, and i'm pretty freaked out about it. Anyway, has anyone had these changes in their EKG? Anyone have any idea what it could mean?

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I can't really offer any help except that you may want to email Morgan if she's around. She really knows her stuff when it comes to reading EKGs and what all of the little abnormalities mean. I know there are also a few folks on the forum who've had heart caths and could offer you some good advice. You may want to do a search for that topic, as I was reading a post on that not too long ago, and it had some good info about what to expect. Hang in there. I know these things are scary. Did you ask your doctor what the abnormality could indicate? Your doctor didn't put you in the hospital right away or anything, so that's a good sign! :P Try to relax and enjoy the holidays. Often times an abnormal EKG doesn't really have any significance. I hope that's the case for you. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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Hi,

I can't offer up much about your EKG results. But I have had TWO heart caths. The first one was at Columbia Presbyterian Hosp in NYC when I was 21 and the second one was at Stanford Hosp. in California when I was 27. I am now 38. Neither of them was conclusive for me.

Yes, they can be very scary, but I really think they have come a long way in making them as "comfortable" for the patient as possible. My first one was much more traumatic than the second...and not just because I had been through it before.

Feel free to ask any specific questions about it and I would be happy to answer them.

The best thing you can do is to try to stay calm....I know it is tough, but you will get through it much better if you can convince yourself to stay calm.

Good luck.

Kristen

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Without knowing what kind of st changes they are, it's hard to tell. A lot of people just have funny abnormal things on ekgs that are not really significant and they usually just want to rule things out when they do heart caths. EKG's are good if something acute is going on. But not great if you've had something and it's passed. Mine shows I've a heart attack in the past, but more specific tests show that is not accurate. A lot of times just having a lot of arrythmias will change things temporarily. I wouldn't worry about it at this point. It's just that some doctors are very very careful and comprehensive. Heart caths are actually very easy and painless. They give you something to relax and you're usually home in a couple of hours. My husband had an abnormal ekg and then had an echo. All it showed was he has an athlete's heart, which means he walks a lot. Because he walks a lot it makes the ekg look as though his heart is enlarged, but it's perfectly normal. So that's what I mean. I am not discounting ekg's at all. They certainly are good for many things, but they can also cause undo worry. So don't stress till they tell you to. My st segments always go very flat after I have a run of tachycardia, and who among us doesn't ever have that? Good luck, Morgan

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Dear wsc, don't get too worked up about the st-t changes, I've been told that though they can mean a heart attack in some cases, more often then not, they are harmless. I was the youngest person to have a heart cath at the lab I went to. I was 27 at the time. I have an iodine allergy, so was so doped up I don't even remember the test, but I do remember laying around for about 2 hours just watching tv waiting to get up and leave. Just in case I had trouble during the night I stayed with my mom in town, we lived about 70 miles away at the time. My only trouble was where the "tape" was they used to seal the incision had a small amount of iodine under it and it took about 3 weeks for it to completely heal.

Blackwolf

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Hi there! I am new to this site but thought I might be able to help you with some info... I haven't posted before and I am not even sure that I am doing this right! I also had ST wave changes on my ECG and I think it is not an unusual finding for people with POTS and tachycardia. ST elevation can be an indication of heart attack, but it is more likely that you experienced ST depression or horizontal ST wave changes which indicate cardiac ischemia, or decreased oxygen to the heart muscle because of the accelerated heart rate. This doesn't usually cause any damage to the heart, but you might experience chest pain or discomfort. I hope that helps a bit. I also have had a heart cath done. It was a little scary and unpleasant but remember, you can trust in your doctors and whatever they find out from this will help them to treat your condition better. I wish the best for you. Take care. Laura!

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