The results of my recent stress test indicate that I may have blockages in my coronary arteries. However, when I followed up with a cardiac catheterization, my arteries looked clear. How can that be? Pramod Iyer, Vellore The stress test is not a conclusive test in terms of detecting blockages. I would presume that you had a positive stress test and hence you underwent a coronary angiogram. In normal, asymptomatic, healthy population, routine stress testing can also throw up a false positive result which does not necessarily mean that you have blockages in the arteries. The reason for the stress test being positive can be various ranging from a purely false positive stress test to having blockages in smaller vessels or the end vessels which may not be detected by a coronary angiogram. If you are asymptomatic, I would say that you ignore the stress test and carry on with your normal life. If you do have any pain or breathlessness on exertion, it may be worthwhile doing a myocardial stress perfusion imaging which can tell us the areas of micro vascular (small vessels) ischemia. If the angiography is normal, the possibility for you having a cardiac event in the near future is very remote.
Dr Ajit R Menon, Interventional Cardiologist