Have they ruled out anxiety attacks?
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Wed, Oct 9 10:25am · Heart Problems, Cardiac Symptoms, But Test Results Normal in Heart Rhythm Conditions
Have they ruled out anxiety attacks?
Once you have been diagnosed with a high calcium score I think there is little merit in further scans (you already know you are at high risk) and you add another risk since you are exposing yourself to additional radiation.
You should take steps to modify your lifestyle but be aware that while you can reduce the risk a little you are always going to be at high risk. Most major studies put the risk of having a major cardio event or stroke at 20–25% within a year with a CAC over 1000 (and asymptomatic!), and a likelihood that an event is probable in 3-5 years.
In addition to lifestyle modifications I think that cognitive behavior treatment can be helpful to help you understand and cope with the stress that such a diagnosis can cause.
Back in the spring while in my yard my entire left side of my face went numb and I thought I might be having a stroke. Nobody was around to see if I had any other symptoms (drooping face, slurred speech, etc.) and it passed in a minute or two and I went about my business. It wasn't until I had my calcium score done and scored 1014 and diagnosed with advanced coronary artery disease and had a carotid scan showing bilateral blockages up to 39% that I thought about it again. I assumed then that it was a TIA but my cardiologist wants me to go to a neurologist. I didn't realize that there could be other reasons for this symptom.
This is not that bad, usually 400 is when it is considered high risk and over 1000 for very high risk (I'm 1014). You also have to consider your age and what percentile the score puts you in. I would be more concerned about the abnormal EKG than the calcium score. Your doctor would have taken a more aggressive approach if you were at high risk of an event short term so try to relax until you see the cardiologist.
Next step will probably be a stress test, and if that indicates any blockages a cath may be done and further procedures like stents or bypass may be indicated. I do know someone who had a score of 1100 and was apparently healthy and asymptomatic and his cardiologist went straight to a cath which led to an immediate double bypass. A lot depends not only on your husband's actual condition but on how aggressive the cardiologist is in his treatment approach. The anxiety and stress in this situation can be hard on the patient and on the spouse so make sure that you are aware of the mental affect and take care of yourselves. The important thing is that this was caught before he had any major event so that it can be fixed, Best of luck.
What was your calcium score (mine is over 1000)? The CT just quantifies the amount of calcified plaque in your arteries (usually only 20 is calcified so you probably have 5 times the amount of plaque). The stress test measure whether the plaque is causing stenosis (blockage) which if over 70% usually results in a stent. The fact that you had a good stress test means your heart is getting enough blood, but the fact that you have so much plaques means that if it ruptures you could have a piece break off and cause a heart attack or stroke. I'm in the same boat. As long as you are asymptomatic the treatment is really just healthy lifestyle changes and meds and cross your fingers! Now that you know you are at risk you know not to treat any symptoms lightly and head to the ER as soon as you feel anything unusual.
All of the lifestyle changes and meds are meant to reduce your risks of having a cardiac event, they have no bearing on lowering the calcium score. Actually once you are diagnosed with CAD due to a high calcium score there is little merit in repeated CT tests. Just as important as your total score is where you are in percentile for your age group. Just concentrate on controlling the factors that are within your power and be vigilant.