PRO: The pulmonary artery catheter has a paramount role in current clinical practice

Ann Card Anaesth. 2021 Jan-Mar;24(1):4-7. doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_125_19.


Ever since its clinical introduction, the utilization of the pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) has been surrounded by multiple controversies, mostly related to imprecise clinical indications and the complications derived from its placement. Currently, one of the most important criticisms of the PAC is the ambiguity in the interpretation of its hemodynamic measurements and therefore, in the translation of this data into specific therapeutic interventions. The popularity of the PAC stems from the fact that it provides hemodynamic data that cannot be obtained from clinical examination. The assumption is that this information would allow better understanding of the individual's hemodynamic profile which would trigger therapeutic interventions that improve patient outcomes. Nevertheless, even with the current diversity of hemodynamic devices available, the PAC remains a valuable tool in a wide variety of clinical settings. The authors present a review exposing the benefits of the PAC, current clinical recommendations for its use, mortality and survival profile, its role in goal-directed therapy, and other applications of the PAC beyond cardiac surgery and the intensive care unit.

Keywords: Cardiac surgery; critical care; hemodynamic monitoring; intensive care unit; pulmonary artery catheterization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Catheterization, Swan-Ganz
  • Catheters
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Artery*