Comedian Brad Upton suffered a “serious” heart attack despite a normal heart stress test: What to know

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Did you know that a patient can have serious heart disease despite a routine stress test?

Comedian Brad Upton recently announced on Facebook that he suffered a “serious” heart attack on Remembrance Day after a routine heart stress test about eight months ago.

“When I had a red chest in September last year, I took a stress test from a treadmill. They told me the 20-year-old college footballer had a heart,” Upton, in his 70s, wrote on his Facebook page. .

“Monday [on May 30] My right coronary artery was 100% blocked and three stents were needed to reopen it, ”the comedian added, adding that his routine went viral on the Dry Bar Comedy channel and has now garnered more than 170 million views on the site.

It was “unbelievable” because he always cared to maintain a good level of fitness and walked more than 2,700 miles from April 1, 2020 to April 2, 2021, which was at least 7 miles per day for 365 days.

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“A heart attack can be caused by a severe blockage of the coronary arteries in the first place. But most importantly, they can also be caused by a moderate blockage in the first place – stress tests are not designed to withstand,” said the doctor. Deepak L. Bhatt is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Cardiovascular Center in Massachusetts.

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Acute coronary syndrome (ARS) is defined by a sudden restriction of blood flow to the heart, according to a report in the latest journal of the American Medical Association on the diagnosis and treatment of ACS.

An additional review states that when a plate breaks and a blood clot forms to block a blood vessel, a heart attack occurs.

“So a normal stress test is reassuring for overall good heart health, but that doesn’t mean a heart attack is still impossible – even a few days after a normal stress test,” Bhatt told Fox News.

“This is a major observation over the last two decades – it’s not just a severe narrowing of the coronary arteries at the beginning, it can even lead to a moderate heart attack.”

According to Bhatt, who is unfamiliar with Upton’s work, the most common stress test is the exercise treadmill, in which the patient runs on a treadmill while monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, and electrocardiogram (ECG).

If there are certain changes in the ECG that indicate problems with the coronary arteries of the heart, patients may achieve abnormal results.

Stress tests often check the heart during rest and also, according to the Cleveland Clinic, to “push” the heart to see if there are any problems with the effort, but the type or combination of tests is individualized to the patient.

Upton told Fox News that he had a stress test called a nuclear stress test, which included a running test component to “stress” his heart, called a myocardial perfusion scan.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, perfusion scans of the myocardium use a small amount of radioactive tracker that passes through the blood, where the healthy heart muscle absorbs it, while the damaged parts do not.

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Bhatt added that for those who are unable to run, for example, due to arthritis, a chemical stress test may be performed instead.

“In the case of chemical stress tests (medical term – pharmacological stress testing), a person does not actually exercise, but injects a chemical to make them think that the heart is being exercised,” Bhatt explained.

But the cardiologist told Fox News that the stress test is called a “false negative” test, even when it is normal and there is serious heart disease.

Patients run the heart on a running test for “stress,” but sometimes the level of exercise in the test is not enough for the heart to work enough to make the blood flow restriction clear, Bhatt explained.

At Upton, “I got to stage 4 on the running test; the nurse told me I hadn’t seen stage 4 in months. I was really good.”

“In [a chemical] In a stress test, the blood flow in one part of the heart is compared to the images in the other part of the heart, so if all the arteries are severely constricted, the test may look normal because the blood flow in all three areas is equally reduced. are comparing, ”Bhatt said.

A mother trains with her young son on a fitness group at home.  She teaches the child the importance of a healthy lifestyle through proper stretching and exercise.

A mother trains with her young son on a fitness group at home. She teaches the child the importance of a healthy lifestyle through proper stretching and exercise.
(iStock)

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Another reason for normal stress testing in people with severe coronary heart disease is that the coronary arteries form a “natural bypass” around a blocked artery, or a blocked artery is too small to undergo a stress test, Bhatt added.

“In patients with a normal baseline ECG, many professional guidelines suggest starting with a stress test on an ECG treadmill, but if the doctor is very suspicious of coronary artery disease or the primary ECG is abnormal, it may be part of the description,” Bhatt added.

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There is really no “warranty period” for a normal stress test, but in general, we like to think that a year or more can rule out the presence of any severe coronary artery disease. But keep in mind. Normal stress. “A person who passes the test may still have a heart attack. So if you have severe chest discomfort, it’s a good idea to call 911.”

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