Why doctors still rely on century old heart test
Most people might assume that technology first developed in 1928 would be obsolete by now. But from air conditioned buildings to sliced bread, many inventions of that era are still essential to our lives today. That includes the exercise stress test, which is still the most widely used medical test for coronary artery disease. “Even though they’ve been around for nearly a century, they can not only tell us if you currently have heart disease, but can also predict your risk for it in the future,” said Martha Gulati, MD, of The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “By today’s standards these tests may seem low-tech, but they can be highly effective and very efficient in diagnosing heart problems.” Doctor Gulati has co-authored a paper in the journal Current Problems in Cardiology, touting the benefits of exercise stress tests, particularly in this age of high-tech medicine. Today, using things like nuclear heart scans, MRIs and CT imaging, doctors can see inside the body like never before, peering deep into the heart with remarkable clarity. But just because those tests are available, doesn’t always make them the right choice.