Congestive heart failure patients may benefit from a test for pulmonary hypertension

July 3, 2012
Congestive heart failure patients may benefit from a test for pulmonary hypertension

(Medical Xpress) -- A new Emory University study highlights the importance of performing an echocardiogram to measure pulmonary artery systolic pressures in stable patients with congestive heart failure (HF). Researchers will present a study poster during the American Society of Echocardiography’s 23rd Annual Scientific Sessions currently being held in National Harbor, MD.

The study, led by Sarawut Siwamogsatham, MD, found that, in stable outpatients with HF, pulmonary hypertension (defined as pulmonary artery systolic pressure greater than 45 mmHg), diagnosed by echocardiography, is a strong predictor of higher risk of clinical events and higher hospitalization rates.  

According to the NIH, pulmonary hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart need to work harder than normal. Initial symptoms may include shortness of breath or light-headedness during activity and heart palpitations. Over time, symptoms occur with lighter activity or even while at rest.

"This is an important study for patients. A simple, noninvasive echocardiogram to measure pulmonary artery systolic pressure can provide critical information to help predict if they are at a higher risk for adverse outcomes and help doctors target potential interventions to improve their health," explains primary investigator Andreas Kalogeropoulos, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Emory University School of Medicine.

An is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plain x-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.

Explore further: The Medical Minute: Atrial Fibrillation -- What is It?

Related Stories

The Medical Minute: Atrial Fibrillation -- What is It?

October 6, 2011

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance in the United States and affects 2 to 4 million Americans. It is usually a disease of aging, however it can affect people of all ages -- 1 percent of people ...

Recommended for you

Limiting protein reduces post-heart attack injury in mice

March 23, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year. Opening a blocked coronary artery to restore blood flow to the heart prevents sudden cardiac ...

New tests help better stroke outcomes

March 23, 2017

Stroke patient rehabilitation can now be improved with a simple process that is helping therapists accurately predict how well their patients will regain the use of their hands and arms after a stroke.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.