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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes low oxygen saturation rates?

I am a generally healthy male age 67. I have had low oxygen saturation rates averaging the high 80 s to 90. Because of an abnormal CT scan which showed some spiculated scarring and mild bronchiectasis. I had a number of tests. I had a normal pulmonary function test. I had a sleep test that showed mild sleep apnea with some hypopneas more prevalent. I do not have COPD, obstructive sleep apnea or other serious conditions of which I am aware. I will do a repeat CT Scan soon because I did not want an invasive bronchoscopy. I sleep with oxygen and do not use it during the day. I do not, and did not, feel tired or sleepy during the day. I am concerned about a cause for this low O2 saturation rate as I would like to sleep without O2 and travel for business, etc. without carrying around or needing to arrange for O2. I have lived at 7000 feet for 40 years. Thanks for any insights.
Tue, 30 Jun 2015
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your situation and problem.
By your history and description, possibility of Pulmonary hypertension is more.
Your CT is suggestive of scarring and bronchiectesis. You are also having mild sleep apnea. Both these conditions can cause Pulmonary hypertension (PH).
You are also living at high altitude. This is known risk factor for PH.
So in my opinion, you should get done ecg and 2d echo for the diagnosis of PH.
Treatment of PH is low dose diuretics and tadalafil, bosentan etc.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
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