Question: If I have a negative stress test do I still need to worry? I heard Bill Clinton had a negative stress test and soon after that he had to have open heart surgery? How does that happen?
Answer: Well, no test is perfect. Certainly a stress test is a very good screening test in most cases for most patients for the presence of significant coronary artery disease.
It has to do a lot with what type of stress test; some are more sensitive than others. And also of course, there's ongoing disease. You may have a negative stress test one year and six months down the line, or a year down the line, your arterial disease can progress. And that may account for President Clinton's issue, how he might have had a negative test one time and then still had significant coronary artery disease.
So I do believe that generally you can feel safe, but nothing is perfect, and again, it's an ongoing process that you have to keep with close follow-up with your cardiologist or internist.