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How is sluggish heart rate treated ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
yesterday I had an echo stress test (the drug one) and was told that the heart is pumping the blood, has no blockages etc but that it is sluggish...what does that mean. they used an excelarator to get me up to 148 beats. today I'm in agony like i've pulled a musle help please
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.

The investigation that you had is called a dobutamine stress ECHO test which involves the injection of a medication called dobutamine while you are closely monitored.

It is good that any blockage of heart was ruled out but if you were having sluggish heart beat, then it is better to get badycaria (low heart rate) ruled out. Causes can be cardiac or non cardiac.

Non-cardiac causes include metabolic or endocrine issues, especially in the thyroid; an electrolyte imbalance; neurologic factors and autonomic reflexes. Cardiac cause include coronary artery disease (ruled out by stress ECHO in your case) and infections such as endocarditis and myocarditis. Apart from your thyroid function tests and electrolyte levels you should get a 24 hour holter monitoring done.

Secondly if there is any chest pain during of after the test, then it should ve reported to your cardiologist. Most likely it is a muscle strain but as a thumb rule any chest discomfort after this test should be reported to the physician so that a precautionary EKG can be done.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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