Is a stress test better on or off betablockers?
Q: I am 47 years old having high blood pressure and am on Atenolol-100 with losartan-100. As I had slight chest discomfort, the doctor advised me to undergo stress test for screening of coronary artery disease. The test was done without discontinuing the betablocker. The test was negative within 9 minutes. Is the negative stress test without discontinuing betablocker less valid than the stress test off betablockers? What is the value of the test which is negative but done with betablockers? Does it exclude the possibility of blockages or CAD? I have tachycardia and betablocker is my main drug. My cardiologist told me that if I undergo stress test off betablockers, the maximal heart rate will be achieved within few minutes. Is this true?
A:As you have tendency for tachycardia it is preferable to have the Stress Test on Betablockers like Atenolol. The accuracy, sensitivity and specificity are quite high. If your test is negative it means that there is no coronary artery disease.