Has Anyone Had an Impedance Cardiograph?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LittleBluestem, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    If so, how did you find a doctor qualified to give it?
    If you had negative results, was any treatment offered?
  2. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    I've never heard of it, what is it supposed to check for?
  3. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    It is supposed to check heart function. Specifically, whether the heart is beating strongly enough.

    There don’t seem to be a lot of doctor’s who perform it and not all of them use the FDA approved analysis algorithm.

    Even if a problem, cardiomyopathy, is diagnosed, I don’t know if there is any treatment.
  4. vickiw

    vickiw Member

    I brought a copy of the study abstract on this test to my PCP to ask him about possibly getting tested. He dismissed it on the grounds that it having the results on my chart wouldn't make a difference to any disability boards.

    This is a very caring doctor, by the way. I think it's just that the test isn't mainstream yet and there isn't an "accepted" treatment protocol if something shows up awry. I'm not sure where insurance companies stand on paying for it either.

    Oh, I also asked my CFS doctor about it last year. His reaction was that it wasn't a very well done study.

    I would still like to get tested. I have CFS and get very strong cardiac symptoms, yet none of the acceptable standard tests show anything.
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    LittleBluestem -- my doctor recommended I have an impedance cardiography. The test is performed using a special machine called a BioZ, manufactured by CardioDynamics. Cardiodynamics' phone number is (800) 778-4825, they're in San Diego, and you can call them and they will give you the names of doctors in your area who have this machine.

    I have a Medicare HMO, and there are cardiologists who have this machine on my HMO list, but it turned out it was going to take a fair amount of red tape to get it authorized by the HMO becuase it's new, etc.

    I called another cardiologist's office (non-HMO) who had the BioZ and spoke to an extremely kind nurse. She knew nothing about using the BioZ for this purpose but was very interested to hear about it. She talked to the cardiologist and although he doesn't usually take cash patients, agreed to do so for this. The nurse is only going to charge me $65 for test. (It should be around $130 or $140)

    My original (non-HMO) doctor who referred me for the test told me to take a copy of Dr. Arnold Peckerman's article to the cardiologist's office. Peckerman is a doctor who was hired by the feds to try to come up with some measurable test for CFIDS, because they were getting so many disability claims. His 6-page article is entitled "Abnormal Impedeance Cardiography Predicts Syumptom Severity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and was published in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, August 2003. If you do a google search for "Peckerman CFS", you'll find it.

    There is also a very good article by Dr. Cheney in the ImmuneSupport library - do a search for "Cheney heart" and you'll find it - it's called "The Heart of the Matter".

    I recommend that anyone trying to talk their doctor into having this test done bring them these articles, especially Peckerman's.

    It is VERY important that the test be done in two stages: first lying down, and then standing. The slip my referring doctor gave me reads: "Impedance Cardiography (1) supine, then (2) standing" The nurse who is going to do the test told me that she's only done it lying down, but I told her what my doctor said, and she said fine, she can do it any way it needs to be done.

    I don't know anything about interpreting the results, but my referring doctor does. He implied that the results might be subtle and unless someone knew what they were doing, they might miss the abnormalities. Peckerman's article may shed some light on this. It's very technical and I'm not going to attempt to decipher it.

    Lastly - my referring doctor said this tests for a form of congestive heart failure, and that there is treatment. If it's positive for me, he's going to give me various supplements (which I think will include d-ribose, CoQ10 and several others), and he also will prescribe digitalis. He said he is getting good results with this protocol with several of his CFIDS patients who have had this test.

    I'll post the results after Wednesday --

  6. sascha

    sascha Member

    my understanding of this is, Dr. Cheney (expert on CFIDS) introduced cardio-myopathy as probably source of our disease. my simplistic take on what happens, based on what i read and heard, is that the heart muscle stiffens and impedes blood flow. the heart can't pump enough blood throughout system; hence cold extremeties, brain fog, pain, post-exertional malaise, and all the other symptoms.

    Mary- that's great that you are having this test, and have given information on how to find where the device is that tests for this. very helpful. i look forward to your next post!

    thanks- Sascha
  7. LongStruggle

    LongStruggle Guest

    Thank you so much for the information. It sounds like the Impedance Cardiography is what I need. For how new it is, however, I don't know whether I'll be able to find anyone anywhere near me that has this device. But I hope I can track this down. Thanks again.
  8. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I don't know where you live, but I live in a very small town (25,000) and believe it or not, there is a cardiologist here who has a BioZ machine. Call the company I listed - they were very helpful and are happy to tell you which doctors have these machines. Good luck!

  9. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Thanks to your advice, Mary, I found a place in my town that offers this test. I'm planning on having it done soon. Thanks also for the suggestion on finding the relevant articles to bring to my doctor.

  10. LongStruggle

    LongStruggle Guest

    Thanks again for all your information. I did call Cardio Dynamics and they informed me that several hospitals in Lexington, KY do have the machine, including the hospital where the electrophysiologist, whom I'll be seeing Wednesday, is staffed. I also retrieved those articles you mentioned by Peckerman and Cheney and will take them to the cardiologist. Thanks again.
  11. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You are all welcome - I'm glad to be of help on this board since I can't do much of anything else.

    It will be interesting to see what we all find out - post your results when you get them --

  12. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Mary, what a pleasant surprise to find your response to my post of over a week ago! It looks like your detailed information has been of help to others, as well.

    I live in a dinky town of about 3500, but there are larger towns in the area. I will call Cardio Dynamics and see what they have to say.

    I am eager to hear the experiences of anyone who has the test done.
  13. TKB

    TKB New Member

    I live in Denver and am scheduled for an impedance test next week (12/19). Have been trying to get more info from the BioZ rep...just got off the phone with him...he was driving just north of Mexico City as we spoke! He doesn't know anything about CFS so I plan to send him websites, etc. to educate him about Dr. Cheney, Dr. Peckerman's study, etc.
    I had a heart rate variability test done that provided useful info, but am not sure if this impedance test will be useful or not...I do have irregular heart beats (PVCs mostly) and orthostatic intolerance problems, so I am hoping the impedance test will give me some kind of useful info. Have you had your impedance test yet? I feel as if I need to be educated about how it should be conducted, etc. How was your test done? Any results yet?
  14. TKB

    TKB New Member

    Looking forward to hearing about your results...I am new to this message board and not sure how to use it yet...I just posted a long message earlier about being scheduled for an impedance test next week. It was meant for you, but I didn't direct it to you. Do you have many nervous system symptoms? My primary symptoms seem to be nervous system related, with cardiac problems as somehow connected. Had a heart rate variability test that provided useful info. Not sure if I should have the impedance test? Waiting to hear your report.

    Thanks! TKB

  15. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Well, I had the test this morning. I don't know how to interpret the results which the nurse is faxing to my referring doctor. Unfortunately, my referring doctor only works part-time and I may not be able to talk to him about the results for about 3 weeks. That's the just way it is. The nurse really couldn't interpret it for me.

    TKB - you asked about how the test should be done - read my earlier post - they need to do it in two parts - with you lying down first, and then standing up. That's all. The BioZ machine does all the work.

    It was very simple, the nurse just attached a few electrodes and the machine did the rest. The whole thing took 10 or 15 minutes, very non-invasive.

    From the little I could figure out, it appears that my cardiac output is okay, I think (I kind of wish it wasn't), but my stroke volume (I think how much blood gets pushed through) is half of normal. I can't even hazard a guess as to what it all means. Wish I could . . . .

    So, I'll post again after I've had a chance to talk to my doctor about it, which will probably be after Christmas. And the rest of you, post your results when you get them --

    Happy holidays!

  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    First, TKB - my main symptoms are post-exertional malaise (exercise intolerance - crashing for 2 days or so after rather minimal exertion), impaired immune system (I get sick very easily and take a long time to recover), sleep disturbances, lack of stamina- I don't have brain fog or what I would consider to be nervous system problems per se. But if I were you, I would have the impedance cardiography test done just to see - you never know - the more information the better when dealing with these invidious, invisible, insidious, impossible diseases!

    Re my results: my referring doctor's office called me a little while ago (at 5:10 p.m. PST). He's not available to talk to me until January 3rd (which I knew), but - he told his assistant to tell me to immediately start taking d-ribose (1/2 teaspon twice a day) and B-12 shots (methylcobalamin) 1 cc, 4 times a week, which leads me to believe that he saw the faxed test results. He also told his assistant to put me on his first available phone appointment. So it looks promising to me, that I might have heart trouble! I'm glad about it! I've been sick for soooooo long, I started getting sick over 20 years ago, and the crashing started 8 years ago -

    As I said in an earlier post, the doctor said if results are positive, he will treat using a combination of supplements and digitalis. So, hopefully will find out more on 1/3, but it looks promising so far - I'm afraid to get my hopes up --

    Happy holidays!

  17. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hi all - I learned after the test that I should not have had any caffeine prior to the test. No one told me that (although you might argue I should have figured it out on my own and probably should have)

    In any event, do not have any caffeine before the test. The extreeeemely kind nurse who did my test for $65 told me before leaving today that if there was any problem with it, she would redo it for free(!) So I called her this afternoon after I discovered (from reading Dr. Peckerman's article) that I should not have had any coffee before the test, and she is going to redo it tomorrow for free.

    I also learned that it would be very helpful for whoever is doing the test to look at Peckerman's article - he describes a protocol for the test (how long to remain supine, how long standing) that the nurse told me she is going to adhere to tomorrow. You are supposed to lie down for I think 10 minutes for the first part of the test, and then I think it's 5 minutes standing. Check Peckerman's article referenced in my earlier post, or have the testing doctor's office check it before doing the test --

  18. findmind

    findmind New Member

    boy, am I glad to see this becoming a topic here and being offered in clinics around the country.

    their website is going to get a zillion hits, right?

    The way I understand it is this:

    There are two kinds of heart failure:

    Systolic, or Congestive, where the outflow is impaired, and certain medications help that,


    Diastolic Heart Failure is when your heart does not pump enough blood into the chambers. The meds for Systolic or Congestive Heart Failure can actually make Diastolic Heart Failure worse.

    Many patients with Diastolic Heart Failure are being treated with the wrong medications according to Dr. Cheney.

    This test may be the next most important diagnostic tool for CFS. I don't know about it being helpful with FM, but if FM is a "muscle" thing, and the heart is a muscle, then it may be.

    Please, all of you getting the testing done, keep us updated!

    We thank you, and we care!

  19. u34rb

    u34rb New Member

    Findmind and everyone,

    This is getting interesting.

    1. Let’s not forget about blood volume. What happens if we don’t have enough? It wouldn’t matter how well the heart is working, if not enough is going in then not enough can come out. My point is that just having a test result that the heart output is low may not mean that there is a heart problem.

    2. I've often wondered about the overlap (and possible link) between CFS and FM. Could it be the heart? If the principle of the Guai protocol for FM is based on the body erroneously storing phosphates in the muscles, and the heart is a muscle, what would happen if phosphates were stored in the heart? Would that lead to a form of ‘congested heart problem’, which in turn would lead to symptoms we know as CFS?

    That is,

    A. for some reason kidneys don’t excrete phosphates (unless we use Guai)?

    B. body stores phosphates in muscle including heart, leading to congestion and symptoms of FM?

    C. heart congestion leads to symptoms of CFS, (Peckerman and Chenney)?

    What about people who have a diagnosis of CFS, but don’t realise that their heart is affected by a symptom of FM. Possibly, if they took the FM remedy (guai) it would help their CFS?

    I’ve often wondered if it’s such a good idea to separate FM from CFS when seeking a remedy.

    Any ideas anyone?
  20. sascha

    sascha Member

    filled with fascinating information. i hope this Board keeps getting input on this. so informative! thanks very much. i'm going to request impedence cardiography test from my doctor.


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