What tests will the PH doctor do?

These tests help the doctor know if someone has pulmonary hypertension (PH) and, later on, whether the medicines are helping their PH.

Cardiac Catheterization: This is a procedure in which the doctor uses a small catheter (which looks like a long wire) to directly measure the blood pressure in your heart and lungs and to see how well your heart is working.

Cardiac MRI: This is like a very fancy X-ray that gives the doctor an even better picture of your heart. To take the MRI test, you will lie down on a bed, which moves you in and out of the MRI machine while the machine takes pictures of your heart. You might get to wear headphones to listen to music while the MRI machine is taking pictures of your heart.

Echocardiogram (ECHO): This is a special machine that takes pictures of the heart. You will put on a hospital gown and lie down on your back. The echo tech will place a little bit of gel on your chest and use a special piece of equipment to take pictures of your heart. These pictures will show your doctor how well your heart is pumping and estimate how high the blood pressure is in your pulmonary artery. This test often takes 45 minutes to an hour.

EKG: This test shows doctors the rhythm of your heart and gives the doctor a rough measure of the thickness of the chambers of your heart. For this test, stickers are put on your chest that are connected to a computer. The computer makes pictures of your heart rhythm.

Six-Minute Walk: This test looks at how far someone can walk in 6 minutes and how much oxygen is in their blood before, during and after the test. During this test, you walk up and down a hallway for 6 minutes.

Tip! PHA has a Glossary of PH Terms on its website. If you and your family need help with a medical term, you can look it up at: www.PHAssociation.org/GlossaryofPHTerms


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