CHF...Abnormal and normal tests...entirely confused!
At the ER last month, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and pneumonia based on a X-Ray, CT Scan, Pro-BNP test, and an EKG. My EKG was abnormal (enlarged heart, etc.) and my Pro-BNP test score was 4996, which from what I have seen, is very high. I was very swollen and my oxygen level was low (70%). They gave me a bunch of medications including a diuretic. All of this made sense when I looked into it, because I have EVERY symptom of CHF.
From that day on, I stopped eating salt, drinking beer, and *tried* to quit smoking.
Fast forward to this month, I went to a cardiologist and he ran a sonogram (Echo...I think it is called). All came back normal. No enlargement, valves look okay, and etc. He wants to run a stress test, though, to look for blockage. My symptoms are still apparent, though I am not nearly as swollen right now. He doubled my diuretic dosage.
Does this mean I really do not have CHF? He doctor did not really say anything either way. I am so confused at how things can "change" so quickly, especially with such a "bad" BNP test. Could it be something else? I am thinking things may not be "okay" because he doubled my diuretic. I have no idea what to even think.
CHF can be a result of various pathologies like coronary artery disease, viral infections of heart muscle, valve abnormalities, sodium retention, long standing alcohol abuse, thyroid disorders etc. The treatment plan for CHF, is also mainly treating the underlying cause. BNP values if high also reflect CHF. Did you get kidney function tests done? It is evident from your history that fluid accumulation is present, and this in turn can happen due to kidney failure, heart failure, protein deficiency etc. Are your symptoms of the same intensity as it were before? If the intensity has decreased then correction of cause leading to CHF is under process. An echo gives a better picture than EKG for enlargement of heart of valve abnormalities. I would recommend that you enquire about EF and get a tread mill test done along with angiography for further clarification on this. Best.
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