Posted on Nov 21, 2013

Physicians conduct stress tests to decipher whether or not a patient is at risk of having a heart attack. But could the very test that is supposed to decipher whether you are at risk actually be causing a potential heart attack?

NBC news reports on the stress test chemicals that could be causing a heart attack.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors about using the common Astellas stress test because two chemicals from the test could be causing heart attacks.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned physicians on Wednesday that two chemicals used to conduct cardiovascular stress tests can cause heart attacks and death, and it suggested resuscitation equipment and trained staff be available when the tests are conducted. The injectable products, Lexiscan and Adenoscan, are marketed by Astellas Pharma US Inc. They work by stressing the heart, allowing physicians to take images that can show areas of low blood flow and damaged heart muscle. The tests are given to patients who are physically unable to exercise,” according to NBC.

The FDA said, “Heart attacks may be triggered by the tests because the chemicals dilate the heart's arteries and increase blood flow to help identify obstructions. Blood flows more easily to unblocked arteries, which can reduce blood flow to an obstructed artery. In some cases, that can lead to a heart attack.”

Physicians are being told that they absolutely cannot use the test for certain patients, as the effects have been fatal for some.

NBC reports, “The FDA told physicians not to use the products in patients with signs of acute myocardial ischemia, which occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is decreased. Some cases of heart attack and death have occurred in patients with unstable angina, or chest pain, and other heart problems.”

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW A DOCTOR FAILS TO DIAGNOSE A HEART ATTACK, CLICK HERE. You'll learn about a remarkable story involving a young man who was misdiagnosed. As a result of the doctor failing to diagnose his cardiac problem, this man suffered lifelong, permanent injury.

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Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer