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Question:

Is my stress test okay? What is breast attenuation artifact?

I recently had a stress test (IV only---no treadmill) after a recent episode of shortness of breath and left shoulder pain. The findings on my stress test are: The raw planar images and straight significant breast attenuation artifact. The rest images demonstrate a moderate intensity defect involving the apical lateral and mid interolateral wall. This defect appears better at stress and is consistent with breast attenuation artifact. Perfusion otherwise appears normal at rest and stress. Ejection fraction is 75% with normal wall motion and thickening. 

submitted by Sue from Ohio on 8/16/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Benjamin Y. Cheong, MD    

Benjamin Y. Cheong, MDThe report indicates there is normal perfusion during rest and stress, therefore the report indicates the stress test is normal.  In addition, the heart function is reported to be normal with normal contraction.

Frequently, organs like breasts in females and the stomach in males can give rise to some shadows [attenuation artifact] in the test images. The physician reviewing  the images has to take these into account when interpreting the results.         

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Updated August 2011
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