Can You Have a Heart Attack After a Normal Stress Test?
Find the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our series, “The Short Answer.” Cardiologist Benico Barzilai, MD, answers this one.
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A stress test can be useful if you already are experiencing symptoms of coronary artery disease. It may provide further evidence that indicates blood flow to the heart is reduced because of a blockage from fatty deposits in the arteries called plaque.
Stress tests can detect when arteries have 70 percent or more blockage. This severe narrowing is what causes the severe chest pain called angina.
But normal results from a stress test do not rule out the possibility of a future heart attack. This is because a plaque can still rupture, form clots and block an artery. Heart attacks often result from these smaller blockages that rupture.
— Cardiologist Benico Barzilai, MD