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Pulmonary artery catheterization: Interpretation of hemodynamic values and waveforms in adults

Frank E Silvestry, MD
Section Editor
Scott Manaker, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Geraldine Finlay, MD


The pulmonary artery catheter (PAC; Swan-Ganz or right heart catheter) can be used for a variety of clinical purposes. Interpreting hemodynamic data from PACs is important for the diagnosis and management of a range of conditions including shock and pulmonary artery hypertension (table 1).

The interpretation of hemodynamic values and pressure tracings derived from the PAC is described in this topic. The insertion technique, indications, contraindications, and complications of PACs are discussed separately. (See "Pulmonary artery catheters: Insertion technique in adults" and "Pulmonary artery catheterization: Indications, contraindications, and complications in adults".)


Direct measurements of the following can be obtained from an accurately placed pulmonary artery catheter (PAC):

Central venous pressure (CVP)

Right-sided intracardiac pressures (right atrium, right ventricle)


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Literature review current through: Oct 2015. | This topic last updated: May 14, 2015.
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