We'll take Eddie to the hospital at 9:15 tomorrow morning to be prepped for the catheterization. The cardiologist will be Dr. Rubio, and I had the chance to talk to him yesterday over the phone. Basically, he will conduct a right and left cardiac catheterization to measure the oxygen and pressure inside his heart.
He also plans to perform a myocardial biopsy which should help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other potential conditions such as constrictive pericarditis. Based on what he sees, Dr. Rubio may also perform a couple challenges on Eddie's heart and lungs to see how they respond to fluid and oxygen. For the latter test, it sounds like he would introduce nitric oxide through the respiratory tract (inhaled) to dilate Eddie's pulmonary blood vessels. He mentioned he would only perform this last challenge if Eddie's pressure measurements were high.
Based on his initial viewings of Eddie's EKG and echocardiogram, he doesn't see any telltale signs of high immediate risk. He was very clear that if the RCM diagnosis is confirmed by the catheterization, then transplantation will be the only option, but he's not ready to make that call yet. He reiterated that heart transplantation is not a cure, but rather a life saving option that introduces entirely new challenges. I assured him that we don't expect any quick fixes, but that we have faith and confidence that by counseling together we can arrive at the best treatment options and make the necessary life adjustments. We are prepared to accept any potential outcome . . .