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Cardio people! Could you explain things in this letter from surgeon?

(9 Posts)
Memoires Tue 19-Jul-16 12:50:57

I have a leaky valve which initially was checked once a year, but has been moved to biannual checks for the last 2 or 3 years. I've just got the letter from the surgeon re my last check. He has said:

Diagnoses
2. Non-dilated aortic root - what is one of those?
3. Good LV systolic function(EF 63%) - what is EF?

Later he says:
"...she does not suffer orthopnoea, PND ..." - I have no idea what those are, and as dd is 16 I'm sure PND isn't what it normally is on MN!

Later still:
"Her JVP was normal ... no peripheral oedema ... heart sounds were dual with a soft flow murmur, but a diastolic murmur was v difficult to hear" - this is pretty good, right? (WIthin the context of having a leaky heart valve, at least!)

Other questions I have are:
What is a half time pressure? Mine is 464ms, which is probably not too bad considering they've been monitoring my heart for several years on a 6-monthly basis.

What is a bi-atrial dilation; mine is mild, btw. My RV size and systolic function are normal. What is RV size?

On the whole, I'm not worried. I know that if I get more breathless I should probably go to my gp. I'm not entirely sure what else I should be doing to try to keep this all under control. They've told me I'll have to have an op but are putting it off all the time as they don't want to put me on the heart lung machine (memory issues, and apparently I'm more vulnerable), also as they think my recovery period would be about 6 months due to my other conditions.

What things should I look out for which indicate that my heart condition is worsening?

This is quite a big request, so thank you so much for your help! chocolate

Pleasemrstweedie Tue 19-Jul-16 14:12:10

That's a poser.

I'd guess LV and RV are left and right ventricles. Atria are the other two chambers of the heart.

That's about the limit of my O level Biology. I'd book a telephone appointment with your GP and ask for a translation.

Stormtreader Tue 19-Jul-16 14:14:32

Those letters arent really for the patient as such, its a technical report from the check - book a GP appointment to get the laymans translation smile

LotsOfDots Tue 19-Jul-16 14:16:31

Non dilated aortic root - the origin of the aorta where it arises from the heart is normal sized - not dilated. (Good)

EF = ejection fraction - how much the heart empties when it contracts.

Orthopnoea - shortness of breath when lying down

PND paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea - sporadic night time breathlessness

HippyChickMama Tue 19-Jul-16 14:29:14

A non dilated aortic root means there is no aneurysm at the point where the aorta leaves the heart.
EF is ejection fraction, the % of blood leaving the left ventricle with each beat, 63% is normal.
Orthopnea is shortness of breath when lying flat and PND stands for paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea or shortness of breath that wakes you up.
JVP etc. is ok.
I'm not sure what is normal for half time pressure sorry.
RV size is right ventricle size.
Hope that helps.

lougle Tue 19-Jul-16 14:29:16

Diagnoses
2. Non-dilated aortic root - this is good. You don't have any weakening of the aorta wall that leads to an aneurysm.

3. Good LV systolic function(EF 63%) - what is EF? Ejection Fraction. 63% is good. Normal range is 55%-70%

Later he says:
"...*she does not suffer orthopnoea* you can sleep lying flat and don't have to sleep upright in a chair or propped up on pillows.

PND ..." - I have no idea what those are, and as dd is 16 I'm sure PND isn't what it normally is on MN! paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea - coughing and shortness of breath at night.

Later still:
"Her JVP was normal ... no peripheral oedema ... heart sounds were dual with a soft flow murmur, but a diastolic murmur was v difficult to hear" - this is pretty good, right? (WIthin the context of having a leaky heart valve, at least!) - yes, I think so. My cardiac knowledge isn't A1, but I think this is all fairly mild.

Other questions I have are:
"What is a half time pressure? Mine is 464ms, which is probably not too bad considering they've been monitoring my heart for several years on a 6-monthly basis."

This is a measure of the time it takes for the maximum mitral gradient to halve, in milliseconds. It's used with another measure to calculate the degree of mitral stenosis and isn't useful on its own, I don't think.

What is a bi-atrial dilation you have two atria (left and right) so both are slightly dilated; mine is mild, btw. My RV size and systolic function are normal. What is RV size? Right ventricle.

On the whole, I'm not worried. I know that if I get more breathless I should probably go to my gp. I'm not entirely sure what else I should be doing to try to keep this all under control. They've told me I'll have to have an op but are putting it off all the time as they don't want to put me on the heart lung machine (memory issues, and apparently I'm more vulnerable), also as they think my recovery period would be about 6 months due to my other conditions.

What things should I look out for which indicate that my heart condition is worsening?

This is quite a big request, so thank you so much.

Memoires Tue 19-Jul-16 15:50:23

Thank you all so much! It all seems to be pretty good, so I shan't worry, and can truthfully reassure both dd and dh.

Stormtreader, I shall be seeing the gp about various things quite soon, and will ask about this too, but appts are hard to get these days so it's nice to have a general idea quickly. Usually, it goes : me - is my heart still pretty much OK? Doc- pretty much. Me - anything to worry you? Doc - not really, looks much the same as last time; here, have a statin.....

I'm paraphrasing, obviously.

Stormtreader Wed 20-Jul-16 10:35:23

Sorry, I didnt mean you shouldnt be asking or anything! Just that when I got a similar letter from a test I tied myself up in knots trying to understand it all, and then the followup was just being told "all looks ok from this".

Memoires Wed 20-Jul-16 22:16:08

No, I know you didn't! No harm done flowers

I'm not naturally a worrier, it's just nice to have an idea of what I'm facing in order to prepare questions before I go, and I don't really want the gp time wasted by answering questions like these; I want to know what it means so we can concentrate on the implications when added to my other physical, and possibly mental, conditions.

So thanks again to you all. thanks

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