The Diagnosis Of Hypertension

Screening tests for the diagnosis of hypertension is something often considered by doctors for their patients with blood pressure that is on the higher level. One of the most alarming facts about hypertension is that it isn't something that affects a few people only, but it is believed that about 58 million Americans suffer from persistent high blood pressure.

This condition is also the leading cause behind suffering from heart failure, coronary artery disease, strokes, and renal diseases as well. These are just some of the most common complications that cause serious diseases amongst Americans, and there are other risks as well to contend with.

Are the tests effective?

Well, it is always necessary to have some screening tests to help in the diagnosis of hypertension, but first, you need to learn about how effective is conducting such tests. 

The main reason about why do you need to be sure that you are using the proper devices to conduct screening tests in the detection of hypertension is because:

  • even the most accurate of devices used to measure blood pressure may not be appropriate to conducting routine screening tests

  • because such devices are invasive

  • because of certain technical limitations to their use

  • because of the costs involved

Still, the most common device that is used when conducting screening tests for high blood pressure is the office sphygomanometry – at least, in the asymptomatic population. This is a very accurate means of testing blood pressure, though it must be performed correctly because sometimes the results may show a blood pressure that is not representative of the mean blood pressure of the patient.

The reason about why screening tests need to be done is because normally it is very difficult to diagnose hypertension during normal, routine physical examinations, even when the disease is in an advanced stage. That is why doctors need to do screening tests, because the results obtained will help rule out the possibility of other possible causes for hypertension in the person being tested.

Screening tests may include:

  • Echocardiogram,

  • Transesophageal echocardiogram,

  • Pulmonary function test,

  • Perfusion lung scan,

  • right heart catheterization,

  • computerized tomography,

  • magnetic resonance imaging or MRI,

  • genetic tests

  • and in some cases, open-lung biopsy

After the results of your screening tests have become available, your physician can then classify your condition as being Class I, II, III or even  IV.

  • Class I condition - It means that you are suffering from pulmonary hypertension though there are no symptoms discovered.

  • Class II condition - It means that you are not showing symptoms while at rest though you may feel fatigued, as well as breathless and even chest pain.

  • Class III condition - It means that you are comfortable while at rest, though you will notice a few symptoms whenever you exert yourself.

  • Class IV - It means that you will show symptoms even while resting.


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