Monday, November 3, 2008

The OTHER high blood pressure

Pulmonary Hypertension is the OTHER high blood pressure, and unfortunately, it cannot be measured as easily as systematic hypertension, commonly called hypertension or high blood pressure.

The pressure in the pulmonary artery (PA) can be measured two ways: an echocardiogram which can estimate PA pressures and a right-heart catheterization (RHC) which is the most accurate measure of PA pressures and is considered the gold standard for measuring PA pressures.

These tests become routine for a PH patient. When I was first diagnosed, I had an echo every three months, then every six months, and now, that my PH has stabilized, I have echos once a year. I have had two RHCs since I was diagnosed. This test is invasive, so many PH specialists avoid excessive use of the RHC.

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