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Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension

03/15/2011

Question:

I had an echo 10 years ago which was normal. 9 mos ago when I had an echo the RSVP was 48 then 3 mos later 47. 9 mos later 57-60. I have had ANA tests which were negative. My lung function test was good and arterial gas too. My cardiologist says it is due to weight. I am concerned that the pressure went up and that no cause can be found. I am scheduled for sleep study later this month. What steps would you suggest? Can morbid obesity cause PH? Will losing weight halt it? If sleep apnea is present, will treating it cause the RSVP to decrease? Is it possible to have a high RSVP number on echo and the heart cath reveal the pressure is normal? So far I have no symptoms. Should I be feeling symptoms at 57-60?

Answer:

You do not state what your symptoms were that prompted your physicians to obtain the echocardiogram. Untreated sleep apnea can definitely cause an increase in RVSP (and pulmonary hypertension) and the treatment of sleep apnea can result in an improvement. It is not clear if obesity causes pulmonary hypertension. Yes it is possible to have a RVSP and normal pressures on the right heart and the catheterization be normal. 

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Response by:

Namita   Sood, MD, FCCP Namita Sood, MD, FCCP
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University