Pronunciation: swahn ganz
a balloon-tipped flexible catheter commonly used in the treatment of critically ill patients; introduced via a major peripheral vein, usually jugular or subclavian, and floated under pressure waveform guidance, with or without fluoroscopy, sequentially through the right atrium, right ventricle, and pulmonary artery, ultimately to wedge, when the balloon is inflated, in a small arterial branch where the tip measures pressure-transmitted retrograde from the left side of the heart, which is assumed to represent left ventricular end-diastolic pressure; side holes allow measurement of central venous pressure; with the balloon deflated, catheter measures pulmonary artery systolic, diastolic, and mean pressures; also allows infusion via catheter; some catheters are fitted with pacing electrodes.
Synonym(s): pulmonary artery catheter
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