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Pulmonary Hypertension

PH

09/24/2007

Question:

I was told today that I have mild PH as a result of my sarcoidosis (dx in 1994). My PFT`s are better than they have been in a long time. I do have episodic shortness of breath and tachycardia along with a pounding heart. My echo showed RVSP of 45. I do have an AICD for cardiac sarcoidosis. My left atrium is moderately dilated. Where does 45 fit into a scale of severity with PH? Your answer to an earlier question of mine really helped me. At the time I was not aware of the RVSP number. Only after asking you about other things that were wrong on my echo did I discuss with my pulmonologist who saw my RVSP number was increased and that set the ball rolling. Thank you for this service that you provide.

Answer:

Thank you for the follow-up question. 45 mmHg is an elevated reading on the echocardiogram. However, the echocardiogram only gives us a rough estimate of the pressure and the function of the right side of the heart. To determine the true severity of pulmonary hypertension and also attempt to discern the cause, we frequently have patients undergo a right heart catheterization. Sometimes, patients also need to have a left heart catheterization as well. However, not all patients will need a catheterization and that decision would be made by your treating physician, who will have all of your medical testing available for review.

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Response by:

Douglas W Haden, MD Douglas W Haden, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University