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How Does a Specialist Know for Sure Whether or Not I Have CTEPH? 

At a CTEPH clinic, you will do more medical tests. These tests may include:
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO) - an ultrasound of your heart
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) - a recording of the electrical activity of your heart
  • CT scan of the chest - a special type of x-ray that looks at your lungs and blood vessels
  • Pulmonary angiogram - an intravenous (IV) dye is injected into your vein and travels to the vessels of your lungs. The dye helps us see blood flow and check for any blockages.
  • Femoral and carotid Doppler - an ultrasound of your leg and neck arteries
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT) - breathing tests 
  • Right heart catheterization: a flexible catheter (tube) is put into your body through a vein in your groin area or wrist to measure the pressures of the right side of your heart and pressure in the pulmonary artery/lungs.
  • Left heart catheterization: a catheter is inserted through a artery, usually wrist or groin, and dye is injected to look for blockages in the arteries of the heart.
  • Exercise right heart catheterization: this is the same as a regular right heart catheterization except they will exercise you while laying back to see whether the pressure in your pulmonary artery/lungs increases with exercise. This is done when you do not have PH at rest but still experience shortness of breath with any activity. This is currently only being done in Toronto where the CTEPH surgical centre is. Some of the referring provinces are working on offering this test, but it requires specialty training to interpret and conduct by a cardiologist.
These tests confirm whether you have CTEPH and help your health care team decide if surgery is the best treatment for you.

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