Doug Landau’s Thallium Stress Test

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What is a thallium stress test?

DSCN1299.JPGTriathlon Trial Lawyer Doug Landau recently underwent a thallium stress test. In the past the Herndon Reston area trial lawyer had performed VO2 Maz tests, stress tests and “time trials.” However, this was a new test for this “Super Lawyer,” as it was not for training protocols or sports medicine, but because of health concerns. After becoming short of breath and even walking in his last several triathlons, Doug finally went to see his Internist, who, in turn, sent him to a Cardiologist for testing. A Thallium stress test is a type of nuclear scanning test or myocardial (myo = muscle, cardial = of the heart) perfusion imaging test. It shows how well (or poorly) blood flows to the heart muscle. It is done along with an exercise stress test on a treadmill or bicycle. Injury and disability lawyer Doug Landau did his thallium stress test in Reston last week.

According to the American Heart Association the thallium stress test is useful to determine:

  • Extent of a coronary artery blockage
  • Prognosis of patients who’ve suffered a heart attack
  • Effectiveness of cardiac procedures done to improve circulation in coronary arteries
  • Cause(s) of chest pain
  • Level of exercise that a patient can safely perform

When the patient reaches their maximum level of exercise, a small amount of a radioactive substance called thallium is injected into the bloodstream. Then the patient lies down on a special table under a camera (“gamma camera”) that can “see” the thallium and make pictures. The thallium mixes with the blood and heart’s arteries and enters heart muscle cells. If a part of the heart muscle doesn’t receive a normal blood supply, less than a normal amount of thallium will be in those heart muscle cells. For more information, visit the American Heart Association.

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