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The SHAPE Test

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The SHAPE Test

Campbell County Health Respiratory Therapy tests and examines the respiratory system to provide specialized data for primary and specialty physicians to help with diagnosis and treatment. Among these tests is the SHAPE™ Test.

SHAPE™ is a diagnostic test for pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening condition. SHAPE stands for Submaximal Heart And Pulmonary Evaluation. For some patients, it can replace the need for invasive testing that carries some serious risks.

A rare group of auto-immune diseases called systemic sclerosis, or scleroderma, causes a hardening of the skin, and in some cases the hardening of internal connective tissues. The hardening is caused by skin cells producing too much collagen. Skin feels tight and stretched, and it may prevent easy and pain-free movement.

Scleroderma can also affect some internal organs, including the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis is scarring of the lung tissue that can lead to pulmonary hypertension (PH). Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can also cause the condition.

The gold standard test for pulmonary hypertension is right heart catheterization. However, this is an invasive test that has some serious risks, as well as being very expensive. SHAPE testing is a non-invasive and more reliable option than other non-invasive tests for screening patients with scleroderma for pulmonary hypertension.

During a SHAPE test, you step up and down on a step that is 5 ½ inches high for a three-minute stress test. The end tidal carbon dioxide measurement is monitored for the duration of the test. This measurement indicates the output of your heart and whether you have pulmonary hypertension.

Although pulmonary hypertension is a chronic condition with no cure, there are treatments available to improve quality of life and reduce the severity of symptoms. PH often has no symptoms until a patient has had the condition for years, so diagnosing it as early as possible is extremely important for the best treatment outcome.\

All tests at Respiratory Therapy require a physician's order. If you have difficulty breathing and think you may have pulmonary hypertension, the Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Clinic at Campbell County Medical Group (CCMG) is a great place to start. Give us a call at 307-688-3615.

Article Source: Lung & Sleep Specialists: What is SHAPE Testing?
  • Category: Campbell County Medical Group Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine