Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Prior to 1970, catheterization of the right heart and pulmonary artery required the use of fluoroscopic guidance and was only performed in specialized research units and/or the cardiac catheterization laboratory. The need to assess the hemodynamic status of the left atrium and ventricle on a continuing basis brought about the development of the flow-directed balloon-tipped catheter. With the availability of this tool, routine bedside right heart catheterization has become a reality in the critical care units of many community hospitals. This technique provides the physician with the means for indirectly appraising left heart hemodynamics and to gauge the effects of various modes of therapy on tissue perfusion by monitoring the pulmonary artery and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures (PCWP), cardiac outputs, and mixed venous PO2 (PVO2).
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VCU University Archives