Pulmonary artery occlusion pressure

  • Michael R. Pinsky


The bedside estimation of left ventricular (LV) performance of critically ill patients is an important aspect of the diagnosis and management of these patients. Ever since the introduction of the balloon flotation pulmonary catheterization, health care providers have used measurements of pulmonary artery occlusion pressure (Ppao) to estimate both pulmonary venous pressure and LV preload. However, the significance of any specific value for Ppao in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular insufficiency in patients with diseases other than cardiogenic shock has never been validated. The reasons for this continued uncertainty reflect both intrinsic inaccuracies in the measurement of Ppao and misconceptions about their physiological significance. In this first Physiological Note we shall discuss problems in the accurate measurement of Ppao at the bedside, while in the second Physiological Note we shall discuss the physiological significance of Ppao measurements.


Pulmonary Arterial Pressure Balloon Occlusion Left Atrial Pressure Pulmonary Artery Occlusion Pressure Pleural Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Pinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiopulmonary Research Laboratory, Department of Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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