Astellas Stress Test Chemicals Linked to Heart Attack and Death
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that two chemicals used in cardiovascular stress tests can result in patients suffering heart attacks and death.
About Cardiovascular Stress Tests
- Cardiovascular stress tests are used to determine how a patient’s heart reacts to external stress, and allows physicians to take images that help them identify damaged heart muscle and areas of the heart with low blood flow.
- In situations where a patient is physically incapable of exercise, doctors resort to using chemicals that stress the heart in a way that simulates exercising.
- According to Reuters, the FDA is now concerned that two such chemicals, Astellas Pharma’s Lexiscan and Adenoscan, can lead to patients suffering heart attack or death.
FDA Issues Warning for Chemically Induced Stress Tests
The FDA warns that as Lexiscan and Adenoscan dilate the heart’s arteries, blood may begin to flow more easily through unblocked arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow in arteries that are obstructed. This decreased blood flow can result in the patient suffering a heart attack.
- Since 1995, Adenoscan has been linked to six heart attacks and 27 deaths.
- More alarming, Lexiscan has been linked to 26 heart attacks and 29 deaths since being introduced to the market in 2008.
- According to the FDA, physicians should not use Lexiscan or Adenoscan in patients with signs of acute myocardial ischemia, a disease that occurs when heart muscle and blood flow decrease.
- Further, the FDA urges hospitals to have resuscitation equipment and trained staff available when the chemically induced stress tests are conducted.
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