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Can you explain IVS readings for me?
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Can you explain IVS readings for me?

Hi,

I'm a 40 year old male; about 6ft and 210 lbs. I recently had a heart ultrasound check at a free health screening. Everything (blood flow volumes, AAA screening) was fine. No signs of plaque or anything, but I was told that I had an IVS measurement of 1.4, which was high. I assume the 1.4 means 1.4 cm in diameter. I was told I should discuss this with my doctor at my next visit. I was then asked if I had high BP. I'll admit that I am a type "A" and my BP runs borderline, but I have been able to bring it down the last few years. Ten to fifteen years ago it ran between 140/150-mid 90s, but for the last few years it has been between 120/130-mid 80s. I have refused most medication except for daily dose of HCTZ because I'd like to control it by lifestyle adjustments. I also used to do a fair share of weightlifting 20 years ago.

This was my first heart screening, so I have no baseline to go on. It was a free screening, so I assume there may be a fair variation rate as well. My BP was a little high during the screening, so I don't know if this should be considered as well.

Q:

Could you tell me what would be considered a normal IVS and how bad is this reading if I'm truly at 1.4?

Is my history of borderline high BP the likely cause?

Can this number vary from day to day?

Can it be reduced/improved?

What is the best way to improve it? I could stand to lose a few lbs and do better cardio exercise. Would this be enough or is medicine the only way to go?

thanks for all your time and help
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hello,

Could you tell me what would be considered a normal IVS and how bad is this reading if I'm truly at 1.4?

A normal value is less than 1.2 cm.  This is mild interventricular septal thickness.

Is my history of borderline high BP the likely cause?

It is probable, but it is important to look into your family history to make sure there is no history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Can this number vary from day to day?

Not usually by more than .1 cm, but this would have to do with operator images.  It is pretty reliable.

Can it be reduced/improved?

If it is progressive and the cause is from hypertension, blood pressure control can help.  If your blood pressure is still high, it should be treated.

What is the best way to improve it? I could stand to lose a few lbs and do better cardio exercise. Would this be enough or is medicine the only way to go?

There is no data that weight loss and aerobic exercise reduce septal thickness, but this is a good place to start if your doctor approves.  The key for you is probably controlling your blood pressure.  I would see a cardiologist or good internist to work this out.  

I hope this helps.  Thanks for posting.
7 Comments
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84483_tn?1289941537

I too have the exact same measurement on my last echo(July 2005) , my IVS is 14mm which is 1.4cm, mine is blamed on mild hypertension which is controlled. I have wondered about HCM. I'm assured I dont have that, my last measurement 4 and half years before my IVS was at 12mm or 1.2 cm which is borderline hypertrophy. I think the normal ranges are 7mm to 11mm and 8mm to 12mm, depending on the lab and doc. I'm 41 year male, 5'9" 205 lbs. B/p normal runs around 110/70 with medication atenolol and cozaar.  I take hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg occasionally. All other measurements are normal. I often wondered if it can be actually 1-2mm off,beacuse some frames will show a difference of 2mm depending. I'll be very interested in the doctors reply. I am told to keep my B/P under control drop about 20-25 lbs and not to worry, but sometime HCM keeps popping up in the back of my mind, though no family history whatsoever.Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can tell you based upon my own experience that you should go out and have the echo done again.  I was told I had borderline thickening of the left ventricle and septum, borderline low EF and borderline left ventricle enlargement in different echos over the years. In my most recent echo all of these parameters were in the middle of the normal range.  It is so depenedent on the skill of the operator and their interpretation. It also depends upon state of mind and the medications you are on. For example, if you are anxious during the echo your EF can be on the high side of normal (as happened to me).  For one of my echos I had just started a beta blocker and looking back I am convinced it was the reason I had borderline low EF on another echo.  My latest echo was done without anxiety or medication and all was normal.  I stressed for years over the results of the earlier echos ... don't put yourself through this ... get it done again by a well qualified technician (like all jobs, there are different qualification levels for echo technicians).
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84483_tn?1289941537
Jeff I'm glad that your latest echo is all within the normal range. I think everything you mentioned regarding echos are correct, even though mine was done and interpreted by the same cardiologist on both occasions.I'm still left wondering at times though, even though it appears I have nothing to be too concerned about.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for everyone's good comments & advice. Guess I'm not quite at death's door yet. As with anything, not knowing can cause more stress than actually understanding and dealing with the issue. So normal is around 1.0. Wonder how high a reading could actually go.

Since this was asked; so just to add, my family has no history of heart issues other than my dad having a stent put in with he was 67, so that's working in my favor.


I feel better about this and will follow up with my doctor at my next visit and have another checkup soon.
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84483_tn?1289941537
As I understand it 12-15mm is mild, 15-18mm is moderate, 19 and above severe, clear concern is 20mm or 2cm and above. If you find out more from your doc or cardio, please post here if possible and let us know . Take care/Good luck. You might want to check this out http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7845
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84483_tn?1289941537
The above comment is by no means to suggest that you might have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM), just something you might interesting.
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A related discussion, Echocardiogram values was started.
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