View Full Version : Need info on Lung/Heart tests - why do them?

04-16-2012, 05:29 PM
My doc ordered a bunch of new tests, and I just talked to the scheduler, so I am not even really sure what they are looking for - I thought maybe somebody here could help me.

Brief history - I don't have major breathing issues, but I do seem to have days when just climbing a small flight of stairs is killing me - other days I am fine. I am 43, right in the middle of a healthy weight range for my height, and for my job I am very active. I have never been able to keep up with people on hikes - I get pretty winded and once that happens, it takes me a long time to recover. I always figured it was just that I was wimpy, or maybe had a touch of asthma. I never sought treatment.

Last fall I was Dx'd with Lupus, Sjogren's, APS and Raynaud's - turns out that particular cocktail of A-I diseases predisposes folks to neurological symptoms (I've had a few) and also Pulmonary Hypertension.

Last week I went for some Pulmonary tests - they were really interesting, and not painful - mostly just breathing into a tube in different ways. In the end, they said that the tiny little tubes in my lungs didn't work very well - not even with a double dose of Albuterol (so they know it's not asthma). Then they got more results back and said there's some issue with oxygen not dissolving into my blood well, or something like that.

So - next week I go in for a chest CT Scan, and also an Echocardiogram.

I looked them up on the web, and it's a lot of information, I don't know what to even think. I'm not really freaked out....yet...(should I be?).

Has anybody got experience with this? I am not worried about the tests themselves - I have no fear of the machines and so on, and they don't sound painful at all...I just don't really know what they're concerned about or looking for - I want to make sure I ask appropriate questions, and so on.

I sure would appreciate any guidance you can give me.

04-16-2012, 06:43 PM
I believe one thing they might be looking for is if there is any fluid build up around your lungs. I have had all of those tests done for the same reason as you and they found nothing until I had a CT scan done and they found "ground glass" spots on my lungs and saw that the lining of my lungs was swollen, for lack of a better word. I was dx'd with interstitial lung disease. This is from the LFA's website about lupus and the lungs. http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_aboutaffects.aspx?articleid=291&zoneid=17 I hope your tests go well!

04-16-2012, 09:07 PM
a thorough doctor may be wanting to get a base line result.
he may also want to eliminate certain possible reasons.

please do not worry too much about it.

04-16-2012, 09:36 PM
I agree, try not to worry. When people have the type of Lupus you describe (one that affects the organs) the doctors usually want to stay on top of that because it is easier to help control it while it is in the early stages. I have had all of those tests (some multiple times) just so they can make sure that no other organs (besides the brain) are currently being affected.

Sounds to me like you have a pretty good doc.