PA catheters.

  1. Can someone help me to understand this...

    A PA catheter, or Swan used to measure pressure on the right AND left side of the heart. Only a PA catheter can do this, ie..left sided pressure.

    We were told that these types of catheters are not as common anymore. Is a PA catheter only used when needing to measure pressure on the left side of the heart?

    So, if you don't need to measure the left side, you would use a CVC to just measure the CVP, right? CVP is right side pressure.

    Am I on the right track with this?
  2. Visit Bonny619 profile page

    About Bonny619

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 528; Likes: 34


  3. by   Bonny619
    Bueller....Bueller...anyone anyone?
  4. by   deeDawntee
    Yes you are on the right track....

    Pulmonary Artery Pressure Monitoring measures right atrial (CVP), pulmonary artery and pulmonary artery wedge pressure (correlates to left atrial and left ventricular end diastolic pressure). Also, SVO2 can be measured (mixed venous O2 sats) and cardiac output, index and systemic vascular resistance can be calculated, plus many other parameters.

    Swan ganz catheters are apparently being used less frequently nationwide, however there are some hospitals and physicians who continue to use them regularly. Where they are used most frequently where I work is in CV surgery ICU. They are invaluable to a good outcome with that group of patients.

    There also is a completely different catheter that measures left atrial pressures directly. It is inserted through the chest well via needle puncture into left atrium or via pulmonary vein during cardiac surgery. It is called an LAP line.
  5. by   deeDawntee
    Quote from Bonny619
    Bueller....Bueller...anyone anyone?
    very good!!
  6. by   Bonny619
    Thanks so much!
  7. by   deeDawntee
    You are so welcome. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, check out this website:

    It is a very well done educational series on Swans, and it is free.

    Good luck!!
  8. by   Daytonite
    these web links should help explain some of the theory behind this for you: