Is an ECG sufficient to assess heart damage from substance misuse

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Irish Beast, May 13, 2015.

  1. Irish Beast

    Irish Beast Beast

    @Dr Angell

    @Dr Waktare

    I was admitted to hospital last week and had some diagnostics carried out. I had bloods taken which were normal, BP, RHR etc.

    I also had an ECG which came back as normal which the clinicians said was 'remarkable' given my drinking and gear use, although I have not been training for a while now nor using any supplementation. 

    I remember when I done my trials with Dr Angell he used more sophisticated technologies then the ECG and I wonder if a normal ECG means that that my cardiovascular system is not seriously damaged? Or am I being a little naive?

    Cheers guys
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2015
  2. Rentaghost

    Rentaghost Moderator Staff Member

    You'd probably need an echocardiogram mate, or even an MRI to fully assess the structure.

    When they dragged me in for ARVC they did the lot. The ecg just flagged up an irregular heartbeat.
  3. Irish Beast

    Irish Beast Beast

    Yeah I think it was an Echo that Pete done on me. Might be worth looking into.

    I need to speak to my GP about recent events. He may be willing to send me for the tests if he feels they are warranted. I'm sick of the sight of hospitals at the moment so will leave a week or two! Ironically I now have to go to hospital to pick up a prescription! Grrrrr!
  4. mick_the_brick

    mick_the_brick Elite Member

    ECG is a representation of that point in time certainly not to be used as a reference of heart health IMO

    Rents I believe is correct although an echocardiogram after an angiogram would be more useful and highlight any narrowing in the artities etc
  5. Dr Waktare

    Dr Waktare Consultant Cardiologist

    Hi. Sorry for delay in replying.

    The ECG is a great test, but it only looks at a the electrical activation of the heart and gives some insight into the state of the muscle and arteries. It's main value is that if it is normal ,then the chances of anything being wrong are low.

    As to whether it is sufficient, that is very context specific. Often it is (when combined with taking a history and listening to the heart), but for certain symptoms of in some settings it doesn't really help much. The main thing is when patients have symptoms that are intermittently present, you need an ECG during symptoms.

    As has been mentioned above, an echo (or echocardiogram to give full name) is better for looking at the heart structure. Again as has been mentioned, for things like ARVC one goes nearly straight to an MRI.

    So in summary, symptoms and settings drive the tests...

    If you are still worried, speak again to your doctor. there is also a charity who do screening of young people regularly called the "Vital Signs Foundation". Check out their next event if you want reassurance.
  6. Pip

    Pip Elite Member

    Great response there Dr because I had a cardiogram done over 5yrs ago privately and would like one done again.
  7. Pip

    Pip Elite Member

    Ages 15-35 only
  8. CK1

    CK1 Elite Member

    Just about fit into that range, something that has been of concern lately to myself. Thanks
  9. Slight of hand

    Slight of hand The bed you sleep in....

    ^^^ he says 7 months later :)
  10. CK1

    CK1 Elite Member

    What the pint of your post?! o_O Rather pointless waste of time...

    I haven't been on here for probably that am mount of time, topic is was still top of its forum and the next screening they are doing is the beginning of this March...
  11. Slight of hand

    Slight of hand The bed you sleep in....


    banter bud ;-)
  12. CK1

    CK1 Elite Member

    I'd call it trolling tbh.
  13. Slight of hand

    Slight of hand The bed you sleep in....

    Oh ffs...groan.