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Problem with right side of heart
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Problem with right side of heart

How serious is chronic pulmonary hypertension & regurgitation?  This diagnosis was the family doc's interpretation of the EKG and he said that was about all he understood of it.  This diagnosis was for my daughter who is just 33 yrs old.  She is a non-smoker, doesn't do drugs, drinks very little, is small in stature (4'11" and weighs apprx. 110 = 115).   She says she has been suffering chest pains for a little over a year.  She has shortness of breath too.   I'm a little confused about the hypertension because I always thought that meant high blood pressure and I believe her blood pressure is low, usually around 110/64 (like mine).  What I'm most concerned with is the length of time she has to wait to see a specialist (cardiologist).  The earliest appointment she can get is Dec 21st.   Should we accept this and just wait it out even though she says it feels like a heavy weight on her chest?  It seems unacceptable to me.  Her husband is serving a tour of duty and her youngest daughter (2 yrs) needs to see a pediatric gastroenterologist and that wait is out until Januaray, 2011 and she suffers from postpartum depression from the most recent birth just 3 mo.s ago.  She's under a lot of stress and I think it is dangerous to let this wait so long.   Please advise.  Thank you!  
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QUOTE: "How serious is chronic pulmonary hypertension & regurgitation?"

Heart valve regurgitation indicates some blood back flows into the chamber because the valve leaftets do not close during the pumping phase.  Seriousness depends on the amount of back flow.  Usually there are no medical concern or symptoms unless the regurg is moderate to severe and then there can be symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, etc.

Chronic pulmonary hypertention can not be effectively diagnosed with an EKG.  The EKG can show the possible results of PH such as an enlarged right ventricle.  The right ventricle is the pumping chamber that pumps blood to the lungs to be oxygenated, and if there is resistance the right ventricle pumps against, the right ventricle will enlarge and that is what the EKG evaluates.  The resistence for the heart to pump against can be due to a narrow pulmonary vessel caused by blood clots (thrombosis, and/or pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs),or lung disease. These conditions can and other secondary causes for PH can cause your daugther the symptoms expressed. Also, there is primary PH, and the underlying cause is unknown.

The low blood pressure you are referring is the system blood pressure and represents the condition of the body's vascular system.  When the system blood pressure (normal 120/80) is high that could indicate narrow vessels, occluded vessels, etc. And sometimes the cause is not known.

Your daughter should see a pulmonary specialist because PH can be very serious if not proper treated.  An EKG can not determine PH values. PH  may be defined as a pulmonary artery systolic (pumping pressure) pressure greater than 30 mm Hg or a pulmonary artery mean pressure greater than 20 mm Hg. Your daughter"s PH should be measured as a basis going forward for any progression....and condition treated.

AMA, "Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease of unknown etiology, whereas secondary pulmonary hypertension is a complication of many pulmonary, cardiac and extrathoracic conditions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, left ventricular dysfunction and disorders associated with hypoxemia frequently result in pulmonary hypertension. Regardless of the etiology, unrelieved pulmonary hypertension can lead to right-sided heart failure. Signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are often subtle and nonspecific.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex problem characterized by nonspecific signs and symptoms and having multiple potential causes".

Hope this gives you an insight and perspective to help you ask the right questions, and  proper treatment for your daughter's if there is serious PH. If you have any followup questions you are welcome to respond. Thanks for the question.
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