ZocdocAnswersWhat if the heart is not squeezing properly, but an angiogram shows no blockage?

Question

What if the heart is not squeezing properly, but an angiogram shows no blockage?

Stress test was abnormal. But angiogram showed that there was not any blockage.

Answer

What you seem to be describing is something called systolic dysfunction or systolic heart failure. This is what I think you are referring to when you describe the heart not squeezing properly. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body's metabolic demands. When someone presents with new symptoms of heart failure, the first step is to figure out what caused it. That is why I recommend discussing this with a cardiologist. In the US, the most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease or ischemic heart failure. This is where blockages develop in the vessels that bring blood to the heart muscle. Thus, the first step in the workup of heart failure is to look for blockages. Since your stress test was abnormal, blockages would need to be confirmed with an angiogram. Since the angiogram was normal, the stress test might have been a false positive. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. If a stress test and an angiogram are all the testing that's been done, then you probably need a few more tests. You should definitely have an echocardiogram or perhaps even a cardiac MRI to better assess your heart's function. You should also have some blood tests to rule out other causes of heart failure. Finally, regardless of the cause, you should make sure that you are on the right medications to slow down the progression of the disease and make your heart stronger.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.