Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pulmonary Hypertension Workup

I had a good office visit with Dr. Warren at the Chattanooga Heart Institute yesterday (June 17, 2010). I was very impressed with Dr. Warren. He reviewed all the test: arterial blood gas, pulmonary function test, EKG, echo-cardiogram, and nuclear stress test. The test do indicate that I have mild primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).

The "gold-standard" for definitively diagnosing PPH is a right heart catherization. This way, doctors can actually measure the blood pressure between the heart and lungs to get an accurate reading and diagnosis of what is happening and examine for any possible cause. The echo-cardiogram is a good test, but does not "prove" PPH. Doctors do not believe I have any blockages, but they will also do a left heart catherization while I am there just to make sure. This is an important step in diagnosing.

Primary PH means the blood pressure is elevated without any other disease process present. Secondary PH means the problem is caused by some other condition--fix the condition and the pressure drops back to normal. Knowing the different between primary and secondary determines the treatment options. So far, it looks like I have primary PH.

Once this test is complete, a treatment plan will be developed, which may include the PPH clinic at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has one of the best PPH clinics anywhere, but you must have a definitive diagnosis before they will consider evaluation and treatment options.

You Tube has some good videos that explain what PPH is.

We have two of our grandchildren from Forsyth this week (TJ and Sara Kate). I think Cathy and I will take them on a picnic. If a fishing rod just happens to go with us, well . . . you never know!

(PS: We went fishing this AM. I made it for a little over an hour and we caught two fish.)

Right now, I am a little over half-way with my book. I will keep you posted.

This will be a "fun" next few days. I have a colonoscopy on June 18 and the heart cauterization on June 22.

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