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stantheman68 (@stantheman68)

Pulmonary hypertension diagnosis

Heart & Blood Health | Last Active: Apr 23, 2020 | Replies (4)

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Hi Stan

If that was an accurate resting measurement then I would assume that you have mild pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, estimations of the degree of PAH from echo data are not necessarily reliable and you would have to submit to invasive right-heart catheterization, which does carry a degree of risk, including that associated with radiation exposure, to get any result that you could have confidence in. There is a good amount of academic literature available on this issue. A useful starting point is the analysis of the REVEAL Registry data conducted by H. W. Farber et al (Congest Heart Fail. 2011 Mar-Apr;17(2):56-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2010.00202.x. Epub 2011 Jan 27). Echo-measured PASP and RHC-calculated PASP can be poorly correlated. I was panicked for months by repeated echo-based calculations of severe PAH only to find out at RHC that my PAH was actually in the mild range. In the last few years my PASP estimations derived from resting echocardiography have yo-yoed so far up and down that I wonder these days if it's really worth keeping my appointments for echo studies. Some cardiac conditions carry an elevated risk of acquiring PAH. But, according to R. J. Barst et al in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2004), even perfectly healthy people over 50 years of age can sometimes, if not often, have a PASP >40 mgHH. I hope that this all makes sense to you.

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Replies to "Hi Stan If that was an accurate resting measurement then I would assume that you have..."

Hello again, Stan

Sorry, I forgot to suggest this first time. If you are worried, I recommend that you ask for a six-minute walk test. These tests are relatively cheap to get and might set your mind at rest very quickly. I proceeded to RHC on the basis of echo-derived estimations of PASP, electrocardiograms, x-rays and some finger pulse-oximetry. I did not know anything about the full battery of testing that should occur before a patient with suspected PAH gets anywhere near a cath lab. But, 18 months after the event, a new specialist recommended a 6MWT. And I discovered that, even with mild PAH, in terms of distance I did better, considerably better, than the average performance in my studied age and gender matched cohort. While oxygen saturation did drop ca.9% during the test, it also returned to baseline rapidly. If only that test had happened at the very beginning!

Thanks to poppy0344 for the compliment too.