Thursday, June 05, 2008

MRI, where am I

[Note: some of the info. in this post is out of date; I misunderstood - see here]

Last week I had an MRI scan. Nothing near as dramatic as an angiogram, but claustrophobic enough to make me glad I'm not a vampire and don't sleep in a coffin.

Anyhow, the purpose of the MRI was to determine whether my aortic root was stretched sufficiently to warrant having it replaced as well as my aortic valve. It was, and this means I'm in for more complicated surgery although, according to the cardiologist, it shouldn't make for a worse prognosis or longer recovery time.

The other thing the MRI picked up though was the fact that the walls of my aorta are thickened. Which probably means that there is still active inflammation there.

Now this is a problem, as inflamed tissue is harder to perform surgery on. So we need to find some way of reducing the inflammation before surgery. The trouble is that the three top candidates for doing this - steroids, methotrexate and TNF inhibitors - all have side effects that aren't particularly desirable if recovering from open heart surgery is your thing.

So it's a bit of a worry. Although - and this I need to bear in mind - not too much of a worry. People on steroids, for example, are subjected to major surgery all the time and do just fine.

Summary: a bit less ok, but still ok. Sigh.

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