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Pft, Echo & Barium Results

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I just wanted to let you all know that my tests went well and they are all normal results according to my rheumatologist.


I did have a question regarding the accuracy of the echo in determining the pulmonary artery pressure. From what I have read it isn't exactly accurate and the only true way to tell is by right heart cath. Even the tech that did my echo said it can be off by as much as 5mm.


I also had a question about the "normal range" for pulmonary artery pressure. Some things I have read say 18-25mm is normal and some things say 25 is pulmonary hypertension. Mine was 24 on the echo and if it could be off by 5mm, my actual pressure could be as high as 29.


I get so confused on this stuff, please help.



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Hi, Kristi. Glad to hear your test results were good. I don't personally have any experience with these issues, but there was another thread recently posted considerable discussion on your questions on PAH. In that thread, Sweet posted a link to the site's information on Pulmonary Hypertension. I hope that you will find some useful information in these two links and I am sure that others who know more will post here eventually.

Warm wishes,



Carrie Maddoux

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I just met with a heart doctor. He said something very similar. I had an "excellent" echo, but he said someone with a good echo could have PAH. Labs can be run to also help determine but again he said a person could have neg labs and have PAH. A right heart cath is a more solid determiner in regards to heart pressure and PAH.


My heart doctor decided on a right heart cath because of my ILD, fatigue, slightly elevated heart rate and that my doctors wish to be proactive about my treatment. Mine is scheduled for the 29th.


I hope this helps,


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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So glad to hear the tests went well and things are normal.


In reference to your question about PA pressure, here is an article that was in the ISN newsroom a few weeks ago. Determinants of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Scleroderma. It states

"PAH was defined as right ventricular systolic pressure equal or greater than 40 mm Hg."


My pulmonary doctor didn't start treating me for PH until the ECHO showed a PA pressure of 42. It had gradually increased over a 3 year period with an ECHO being done every 6 months. So she said that was enough to show something was happening and needed to be stopped. She did not have me do a right heart catheter which, yes, is the most accurate measurement of PA pressure. I started on Bosentan and after 8 months my latest ECHO showed a PA pressure of 28, so I'm pleased.


Hope this helps.


Big Hugs,

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Thanks for the info.


My doctor says she is only going to repeat these tests once a year. I hope this is often enough to catch it early enough.


They said my O2 sat was 98 at rest but they did not check it with exertion. Someone said theirs dropped from high 90's to low 80's after just walking a few feet.


I also have an increased heart rate. I don't really cough that much.


I want to believe that I am o.k. and be thankful. I guess I am just afraid because this goes under diagnosed frequently until it is too late and has already caused heart damage.



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