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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Heart Failure

Question: Heart Disease and MDS

 srstep - Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:13 am

Two years ago I had a triple bypass. I was told told I had heart disease but no heart damage. I am 59 years old. I also have MDS and was given a transfusion during the surgery. Recently my hemoglobin dropped to 8.5. My hematologist said I should have a transfusion. I questioned this because I had been told by several nurses that with each transfusion my blood will get harder and harder to match. I have 0+ blood type. My hematologist said this was not true. I then went to another city to see a MDS specialist. He said the nurses were right and that I should limit the transfusions, as long as the low hemaglobin is not hurting my heart. He sent me back with instructions to get an echogardiogram. I did this and have yet to hear from the local doctor. I've talked to his nurse and she asked me why the specialist ask this question. I told her I was not in the medical field and I did not know. She said if he is talking about the squeezing action of the heart, it is fine. On top of this my intenist prescribed me beta blockers although I have never ever had high blood pressure ever! On whatever is supposed to be 60-100, I was 80. I would appreciate it if your doctor could answer thes questions for me. Thanks
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:59 am

User avatar Dear srstep,

Thank you very much for the update.

A transthoracic echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. It allows the operator to see the heart in real time and how it pumps, the sizes of its various chambers, its valves and the direction of blood flow through these valves.

It gives quite a bit of information in good hands and it is non-invasive.

If a patient who has heart disease (specially heart failure) has a low hemoglobin (anemia), he might become symptomatic due to the anemia earlier than a patient who does not have heart failure and the symptoms might be confused as these 2 conditions share some symptoms such as shortness of breath and easy fatigability.

The echo will show how strong your heart beats and if it beats normally and you are not symptomatic and you can go around doing all of your activities without problems, i don't think that you need a blood transfusion. On the other hand, if you have symptoms that hinder your daily activities, then i would recommend a blood transfusion.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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