Lost pulses

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Submitted by Dr T on October 23, 2012 – 8:36am

Question: 
Can you tell me why my radial pulses disappear when my heart rate goes over 100 with exercise.  I can feel my carotid.  I had a cardopulmonary stress test the on bike.  My BP was 210/110 and HR 160 and my legs gave out at 7 minutes. The RT could not get the ending Blood gas and the Dr. tried.  I told him I didn’t have a radial pulse until my heart rate gets under 100. (People seem to pay no attention when you tell them something and ignore you when you ask why.)He finally got the gases when my HR got under 100.I can’t find anything on Vaso-arterial constriction and why it occurs.

Hi Linda,
Just because you cannot feel your pulses doesn’t mean they aren’t there. There is an easy way to settle your concerns: ask for an ultrasound exam. This will also settle whether you have impaired circulation to your hands (if caused by spasm that condition is called Raynaud’s syndrome). Meanwhile, your stress test was otherwise also abnormal: your BP was hypertensive, your pulse rate too high for the level of exercise and therefore your doctor was right to stop the test. Were there other abnormalities such as EKG and cardiac perfusion changes, indicating you may have coronary artery disease? My suggestion, you should check your risk for heart disease.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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