Complications associated with pulmonary artery catheters: A comprehensive clinical review

D. C. Evans, V. A. Doraiswamy, M. P. Prosciak, M. Silviera, M. J. Seamon, V. Rodriguez Funes, J. Cipolla, C. F. Wang, S. Kavuturu, D. A. Torigian, C. H. Cook, D. E. Lindsey, S. M. Steinberg, S. P. Stawicki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Care for the critically ill patient requires maintenance of adequate tissue perfusion/oxygenation. Continuous hemodynamic monitoring is frequently utilized to achieve these objectives. Pulmonary artery catheters (PAC) allow measurement of hemodynamic variables that cannot be measured reliably or continuously by less invasive means. Inherent to every medical intervention are risks associated with that intervention. This review categorizes complications associated with the PAC into four broad groups - complications of central venous access; complications related to PAC insertion and manipulation; complications associated with short- or long-term presence of the PAC in the cardiovascular system; and errors resulting from incorrect interpretation/use of PAC-derived data. We will discuss each of these four broad categories, followed by in-depth descriptions of the most common and most serious individual complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Arrhythmia
  • Arterial injury
  • Complications
  • Data interpretation
  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • Infection
  • Pneumothorax
  • Pulmonary artery catheter
  • Thrombosis
  • Venous injury


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