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Thallium Stress test


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  • Thallium Stress test

    Does anyone know if a thallium stress test is a reliable in diagnosing for HCM? We are confused with thickness readings going down from one diagnosis to another as a result of deconditioning but yet a thallium stress test done today reveals ischemia which they relate to HCM. We are getting conflicting reports.

  • #2


    An echocardiogram is the test for HCM. HCM is not found by measuring your time on a treadmill, it is found my measuring your heart wall thicknesses.

    If you are referring to a stress echo, then I would tell you that some people are better at echos than others. I would order copies of all your echos and see what they say for yourself. I would also get yourself to a specialist so you can have yourself evaluted by someone who knows what to look for and will settle it once and for all.

    What kind of measurements are you getting?



    • #3
      Hi Bert,

      I just had a thallium stress test last week. It was my understanding that this was not used as an HCM diagnosis tool, as much as it is a test to see how much you can do and how your heart reacts under stress. The injection you get at your peak of exertion is supposed to show just what your heart looks like at that moment. Pretty cool. I only wish i could get my results out of my doctor

      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


      • #4

        It's actually my son Jonathan's reading that I was referring to. The first echo done was at Dartmouth Hitchcock on January 11th and they revealed measurements in the vicinity of 1.6. Since then we have gone to NEMC in Boston to meet with Drs. Maron, Link and Udelson and their echo revealed measurements of 1.1 and 1.2 and were not ready to make a diagnosis that he had HCM. So, we were encouraged by the fact that they had gone down and went back today to Dartmouth for a thallium stress test which had been previously scheduled. Their findings today supported their original diagnosis because the test, in their opinion, revealed ischemia. So, we called Boston to reveal their findings and they now would like to see the study themselves.

        We're going through another rollercoaster ride here. The pediatric cardiologist that we saw today didn't seem to want to hear Boston's findings and is really sticking to his diagnosis but didn't prescribe anything for ischimia or another follow-up. We're leaving for Montreal tomorrow for yet another echo only to add another set of data. We're so confused...


        • #5
          Bert, the Thallium stress test is used to evaluate ischemia, the degree at rest and with exercise. Take all your results with you to Montreal tomorrow. A good evaluation of ischemia will help to develope a good plan of treatment. I know this is overwelming right now, but you are searching for information in the right places and you will find it. It just never seems soon enough. We'll all be thinking of you and your family tomorrow. Best wishes - let us know. Linda


          • #6

            I also will be thinking of all of you, and especially Jonathan, tomorrow. I hope all goes well and you finally get a real answer. Please let us know how it goes.


            Husband has HCM.
            3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


            • #7
              Thank you all!

              I'll keep you posted as to what transpires. Ironically, we just a phone call from the pedeatric cardiologist that we saw today followed by an e-mail of his summary findings. His tone was a little different after speaking with the radiologist, and was making with contradictory statements over the phone such as: "highly likely but not blatantly", "they don't feel comfortable saying that it's normal, but there are definite questions and they are less certain and less definitive".

              What are we suppose to make of that? Sometimes, I don't think they know what they're diagnosing.


              • #8
                Just wanted to let you know that the folks up in Boston are great. They are very thorough with what they do. The Echo techs were also outstanding as well. However, that was my third opinion and the tie breaker for me. I had the same roller-coaster ride. One cardiologist said I definately had HCM and the other said I was normal. If you can call a septum of 2.2 normal. Ischemia is not only caused by HCM it could be other conditions as well. Has anyone ventured tward other diagnosisies? Just my two cents.

                Mary S.


                • #9
                  Hi everyone!

                  Here we are up in Montreal for our 3rd opinion. Just had a wonderful dinner with my folks and are getting ourselves ready for yet another day of anxiety.
                  We picked up the stress test report on our way up at Dartmouth Hitchcock and the radiology people there were gracious in providing it so quickly. They were far more cordial and compassionate than the pediatric cardiologist that we've been dealing with there (no bedside manners at all) and very cold in his delivery of his diagnosis.
                  So... I'll keep everyone posted, and I just wanted to give you greetings from Montreal. By the way, I'm taking Jonathan to a Canadiens game on Saturday. I just wish they were playing Larry's Devil's and pull an upset!

                  Talk to you guys soon...


                  • #10
                    First an important correction Bert - Larry would LOVE the Devils to get the butts kicked...it is the RANGERS that he would lay down his life for

                    Re your situation - You have a slightly unusual situation with your son. He is NOT a clear cut case and there is going to be some time until we can sort this out. I know this is hard, I can relate more then you know.
                    You have 3 teams of doctors here - that will add a bit to the confusion and also in the long run help you find the "truth".
                    Stay focused on what they "KNOW" not what they "THINK" and make sure they clearly state that clearly to you..ASK as many questions as you need too. If someone is not responsive to your questions..ASK anyway

                    I am here if you need me.
                    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                    Currently not obstructed
                    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


                    • #11
                      Montreal Screening

                      We had a good day today, and got even more information with regards to Jonathan's condition. Some of it is very encouraging while some of it raises even more questions. The bottom line is it will give the "Boston Team" will have more data to go on, and that was the intent. I liked the specialists and the technicians we met with today. Very curteous and accomodating, and yes they tell you what they see not what they think. I'll let you know when I get the full report what their findings were.

                      Thank god this screening was in Canadian $, because this one is coming out of my own pockets! But with the exchange rate it will be an easier pill to swallow. I'm no longer covered up here because I haven't lived in Canada and paid taxes here for a while, so socialized healthcare does not apply to me. I teased Jonathan about it a little, but he knows that I would got to the ends of the earth for him. I'll be more specific in my next post and see what you guys think. All the best...Bert


                      • #12
                        Bert, I'm glad it went well so far. Yes, please let us know when you get results. I'm on pins and needles here!


                        Husband has HCM.
                        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.