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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: pulmonary hypertension


 babineau - Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:57 am

I am a 44 year old female. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in February. I first started noticing I was short of breath while taking a shower in January of this year. During a routine echo (part of work up for HTN), my pulmonary pressure was 44. I saw a specialist who repeated it one month later. It was the same. I am also light headed and dizzy. The SOB is gradually getting worse. He then did a right heart catheterization. It was normal. My doctor took me off my HTN medication thinking it might help but it didn't. She even put me on Buspar in case it was anxiety but still no change. Now I have mid sternal chest pressure that comes and goes. It is accompanied with a cough that feels like a balloon that the air has been let out. The cough will come in mid sentence sometimes, just like a release of pressure. This can last for a few minutes or all day. It is not related with eating or lying down. I did notice that if I lift or move anything heavy during this time, I get very SOB. My BP has been fine. A cardiologist thought it might be related to high BP. STRESS test and ECG are normal as well as chest xray and PFT's. All done several monthes ago. Any ideas?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:58 pm

User avatar Hi Babineau,

Pulmonary hypertension can cause some shortness of breath feelings. Basically, with pulm. hypertension the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the lungs. This can make the heart begin to fail and lead to a back up of blood in the blood vessels.

I am sure the cardiologist also looked at your heart's squeezing ability to make sure this is normal. If it was, heart failure is less likely the cause.

There are a few medicines directed specifically at pulmonary hypertension. However, it will be important to make sure that this is primary pulmonary hypertension and not hypertension to help compensate for or because of something else (such as a lung problem). PFT's that are normal make a lung problem less likely.

Pulmonary hypertension can be quite a complex issue, as I'm sure you've found out. Follow up with your cardiologist is important.

Best wishes.
 babineau - Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:53 am

Thank you for your response Dr. Lowe. I wonder if there is still a chance that I have pulmonary hypertension even though the RHC was normal. All my symptoms seem to point to it. Maybe it was just so early as I know it is usually only diagnosed in later stages. I will keep my fingers crossed that it turns out okay. Thanks again.

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