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Old 06-24-2005, 10:01 AM   #1
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SamT HB User
EKG, Echocardiogram & Pulmonary Function: PLEASE HELP

Hello. I'm new to this board and looking for some help. I'm female, 48 years old, generally in good health. The last couple of months I have experienced extreme fatigue (actually have fallen asleep at the wheel....), shortness of breath (normally walked 2-3 miles/day...now unable to walk to my car or up one flight of stairs without SOB), and finally severe edema in my ankles & feet.

Complete Blood Count - normal
Blood pressure - normal (almost low)
I was first given a chest xray...results normal
Next an EKG....results normal
Next Pulmonary Function Tests....results normal

Now the doc is suggesting an echocardiogram. What might this test tell us that an EKG or chest Xray wouldn't? I want to get to the bottom of this, but don't want any tests that aren't warranted.

Do these symptoms/tests sound familiar to anyone?

Thanks, in advance, for any responses.
SamT

 
Old 06-24-2005, 03:25 PM   #2
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cookingmom HB User
Re: EKG, Echocardiogram & Pulmonary Function: PLEASE HELP

Hi,

Sorry you are having such problems. An echocardiogram will tell them how well your valves are working and just give a much clearer picture of what your heart is doing, how the blood is flowing etc. It is painless and only takes about 1/2 hour.

Good luck to you, let us know how you are. Bern

 
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:39 AM   #3
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Lukus HB User
Re: EKG, Echocardiogram & Pulmonary Function: PLEASE HELP

Im not even 50% sure... without seeing the examination results, but this could be congestive heart failure. you need to check with your doctor for assistance.

 
Old 06-26-2005, 08:55 AM   #4
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: EKG, Echocardiogram & Pulmonary Function: PLEASE HELP

SamT,

Echogram will disclose size of heart better than X-ray and will also any valvular irregularity and the GROSSEST picture of arterial clogging. Also any congenital problems.

Next in the hierarchy is stress test and scan of nuclear markers to pinpoint any coronary areas that are being shortchanged of nutrients causing angina (pain on exertion/shortness of breath.) If the last (which your really SHOULD have done with your symptoms...it will make the echogram unnecessary) shows evidence of arterial blockage, then the gold standard test is the cathetered angiogram. During that procedure, if a blockage is discovered it can be opened (angioplastied) and stented.

EVENTUALLY, all these tests will be rolled into one wonderful super-sensitive MRI that can do everything non-invasively and eliminate the rinky dink stepwise procedure. But then the medical community has never had a test that it abandoned lightly (witness the continued presence of the 100 year old mercury shygmomanometer...and LEECHES are even making a comback...and shock therapy, etc. etc. )
Anyone see trepanning around the corner?

Last edited by Lenin; 06-26-2005 at 09:01 AM.

 
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