heart attack the patient is not in danger a recent issue of Cardiology.

By Live Dr - Mon Dec 08, 12:38 pm

The lab says heart attack, but the patient is fine

“The man was 40 years old and seemed perfectly healthy – he had just run a 10-kilometer race. But he fainted after the race and was rushed to a hospital. There, in the emergency room, his blood was tested. His levels of a heart protein, troponin, were sky-high. It looked as if he was having a heart attack. The runner ended up in the coronary intensive care unit at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. He was in the hospital for four days, undergoing test after test. Yet nothing appeared to be wrong, his doctors – Lior Tolkin, Beth Goldstein and David Rott – report in a recent issue of Cardiology. He had no other symptoms of a heart attack; every test of his heart’s function was normal. And his soaring troponin levels, which can be an indicator of heart muscle damage, went down to normal. A false alarm or a heart attack averted or maybe a lab error? Researchers say the most likely explanation is that the man had been caught up in a poorly understood but surprisingly common phenomenon: blood tested shortly after a long or strenuous bout of exercise is likely to show abnormalities, maybe even indicators of a heart attack or liver failure. But usually the patient is not in danger. Instead, those results are normal and are not a reason for concern -www.livedr.org

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