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I was dx.With Raynauds then Lupus in 1998. In 2004 the Lupus went into my Lungs. My PFT and lung capacity has remained at 40% loss for the past 4 years. The past 8 months , I have become short of breath and have chest pain with ambulation. I had a heart cath in Dec. 09, no blockage. Just taking a shower is exhausting. My Rhum. feels I need a right heart pressure test to exclude possible PH. My Cardio. said there is no need for this, that he can tell from the last echo. I had in Dec., and feels I do not have PH. He did say my last 5 echos. showed no regurgitation, and he feels that was unusual. My Rhum. says the gold standard test , would be a right-heart cath. I take CellCept, Plaq. and Cardizem LA. Please, how can an echo determine if I have PH? My Pulmon. doctor said he would do an echo to determine PH, he is a Colleague of my Cardio. Every thing I read about PH, is very frightening and I have all the symptoms. I would appreciate your opinion. Thank you. Mylie

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replied March 29th, 2010
Lungs and Respiratory Disorders Answer A10970
Hi and welcome to the form! I am glad that I can help you.

You would like to know how pulmonary hypertension can be diagnosed.

Pulmonary hypertension is an increase of blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein, or pulmonary capillaries. It is characterized with shortness of breath, fatigue, non-productive cough, angina pectoris, fainting or syncope, peripheral edema (swelling around the ankles and feet), and rarely hemoptysis (coughing up blood), loud P2 (pulmonic valve closure sound), (para)sternal heave, jugular venous distension, pedal edema, ascites, hepatojugular reflux, clubbing, etc.

According to the data that you described, you want to know how pulmonary hypertension can be diagnosed. Doctors prefer to diagnose heart medical conditions with non-invasive medical investigations. The investigations for diagnosis of heart conditions other than catheterization are non-invasive. The catheterization itself is characterized with the following complications: temporary pain, minor infections, nausea and vomiting, bleeding, allergic skin reaction, abnormal heartbeats, bruising or scarring at the catheter entry site, heart attack during a heart catheteriztion, irregular heart rhythms, lung or heart failure, stroke, heart attack, blood vessel, nerve, or organ damage, blood clots in the legs, pelvis, or lungs, kidney failure and rarely loss of life during cardiac catheterization. You may consider having the other diagnostic tests for diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider such as a cardiologist for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options of pulmonary hypertension.

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