pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
The pressure obtained when a catheter is passed from the right side of the heart into the pulmonary artery as far as it will go and "wedged" into an end artery. PCWP is measured by letting pulmonary blood flow guide a balloon-flotation catheter into a small pulmonary end artery. The pressure distal to the wedged catheter is an approximation of cardiac left atrial pressure. The pressure recorded with the balloon deflated is pulmonary artery pressure.
(05 Mar 2000)
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