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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Diagnostic Decision: Use of the Balloon-Tipped Pulmonary Artery Catheter in Pulmonary Disease

KENNETH M. MOSER, M.D.; and ROGER G. SPRAGG, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Kenneth M. Moser, M.D.; Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University Hospital, 225 Dickinson Street; San Diego, CA 92103.


San Diego, California


©1983 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(1):53-58. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-98-1-53
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Use of the balloon-tipped (Swan-Ganz) pulmonary artery catheter has increased in recent years. The device has three fundamental applications: pressure measurement, flow measurement, and blood sampling. Like any invasive procedure, this catheter should be used only after careful assessment of factors that affect its risk/benefit ratio. There must be a well-defined indication for the procedure. Physicians must be aware of the factors that can influence the validity of the measurements. Familiarity with the technical details of the procedure and with potential complications and how to avoid or manage them is essential to minimize risks and increase the likelihood of obtaining useful information.

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