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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Stress Echo Test

12/14/2009

Question:

I have severe COPD and just also had a stress echo done using dopamine. They were unable to get me to the 80% HR goal because of me feeling bad but did reach 75% of the goal. My question is, during the dopamine test, I was ok when the Heart rate began to climb but towards the end, all of a sudden experienced SEVERE feelings of such total exhaustion that I felt like I was actually almost just ready to stop. Stop breathing, stop heart beating... just end existing.No panic, just a drifting feeling away from being alive. I know that sounds crazy but it was really spooky. I was able to tell them I was feeling in trouble and they stopped the test and with O2 and resting, I was ok. Worn out for the rest of the day but ok. I don`t think the test showed any problem but I am scheduled for a right sided cath. My question is, have you ever heard of anyone experiencing this sort of sensation? I truly felt like I was just gently wearing down to just being dead.. no panic, just extreme exhaustion to where I felt I was ready to just stop breathing, stop heart beating, just done. Weird?

Answer:

Although your symptoms during the stress test were distressing, we have had patients who have had somewhat similar sensations.

The cardiac stress tests are done to assess cardiac function and impairment, and the fact that you are about to have a right heart cath is an indication that there might be some area to explore, diagnose and treat to hopefully help you breathe and function better.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University