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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Pulmonary Hypertension - New Diagnosis


 Bykegyrl - Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:42 pm

My new PCP found a heart murmur, sent me for an Echo, and the results were
1. Pulmonary artery pressure estimated 30-35 mmHg
2. Minimal to mild tricuspid regurgitation
3. Minimal to mild mitral regurgitation
4. Minimal mitral valve prolapse
5. No abnormalities in size/shape of heart chambers/walls

I am a very active 38 year old woman. I exercise 3-5 times a week, and participate in triathlons and bicycle races in the summer time (consistently placing mid to upper mid-field in my age range). I recently received a heart-rate monitor for my birthday, and upon using it twice, my average HR ~ 160-165. I don't feel as though I am exceptionally exerting myself when I run or bike.

Should I be concerned about this new diagnosis? Do I need a second opinion? My doctor indicated I will need an annual Echo, and nothing more. Should I pursue the cause of the increased pressure?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:38 pm

User avatar Dear Bykegyrl,

Pulmonary hypertension is defined as:
- Systolic pulmonary artery pressure of more than 35 mmhg (some define it as more than 30 and some as more than 40).
- Mean pulmonary artery pressure of more than 20 mmhg (every body agrees to this one).

This has to be a direct measurement using a catheter placed in the pulmonary artery and not using an echo. The higher the pulmonary artery pressures the higher the sensitivity of the echo regarding how well it can estimate the pulmonary pressure.

i think that if you have pulmonary hypertension it is most probably mild.

In your case, It looks from your history that you don't have any symptoms that patients who have pulmonary hypertension usually have.

i would follow up with an echo as your primary care provider adviced you. In addition to that, if at any time, you started to have any new symptoms such as new onset shortness of breath, then call your physician to have it looked at.

Regarding your heart rate reaching 160-165 (assuming that this during exercise), your maximum predicted heart rate for your age is 182, so during peak exercise it is expected that your heart rate reaches this high level normally.

Thank you very much for using our website http://doctorslounge.com and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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