Pulmonary artery catheter

A pulmonary artery catheter is a thin, flexible tube that is guided into the heart after being inserted through the jugular vein in the neck or the subclavian vein just below the collarbone. This type of catheter is used to measure pressure in the pulmonary arteries and blood flow through the heart.

X-rays may be used to track the progress of the catheter as it passes through the chambers of the heart. When the catheter is in the heart, it can measure pressure in the heart and blood flow, and it can take samples of blood.

A pulmonary artery catheter is also known as a hemodynamic monitoring catheter or a balloon flotation catheter.

Last Updated: March 3, 2008

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

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