Minimally Elevated Pulmonary Pressures

What Do They Mean? We receive many emails from our readers inquiring whether having borderline to minimally elevated echo estimated pulmonary artery pressures means that they have pulmonary arterial hypertension.  This is a very important question and many doctors unfortunately don’t understand the limits of echocardiography so patients are often left more confused. Let’s … [Read more...]

Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT)

Disease Overview HHT is a rare disease that leads to abnormal blood vessel growth throughout the body.  This commonly leads to frequent nose bleeds (epistaxis), gastro-intestinal bleeding and anemia.  The more serious manifestations include abnormal blood vessels in the lungs, brain and liver.  These abnormal blood vessels can lead to infections in the brain, bleeding in the … [Read more...]

Diastolic Heart Failure vs. PAH

The most common disease confused with pulmonary arterial hypertension is diastolic heart failure (also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction-HeFPEF).  In my practice about 70% of patients referred to me for PAH actually have diastolic heart failure. Let’s review basic heart function.  The heart has two main actions—squeezing and relaxing.  The squeezing phase … [Read more...]

Sickle Cell and Pulmonary Hypertension

What is Sickle Cell Disease? Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disorder of the red blood cells. It is autosomal recessive (you need to get one defective gene copy from each of your parents). Patients with sickle cell disease have abnormal hemoglobin in their red cells. Under periods of stress the red cells become deformed and plug up the blood vessels of the lungs and other … [Read more...]

Oxygen Saturation and Breathlessness in PAH

I can’t breathe! I feel short of breath all of the time. We hear these statements every day at PAH specialty centers. We take vital signs of blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and oxygen saturation and patients are always surprised if their oxygen saturations are within normal limits.  Read below to learn more. What is oxygen saturation? Oxygen saturation measures … [Read more...]