Pulmonary Capillary Pressure Measured with a Pulmonary Arterial Double Port Catheter in Surgical Patients

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We developed a pulmonary artery (PA) double port catheter technique for reliable clinical measurements of pulmonary capillary pressure (Ppc). In seven elective surgical patients, the PA double port catheter with the second PA port 1 cm proximal to the balloon was inserted. The two PA ports, connected to identical pressure measuring systems, provided the pulmonary arterial pressures (Ppa) distal and proximal to the balloon. After general anesthesia was stabilized, the two Ppas were measured simultaneously during a PA occlusion maneuver during 10 s of apnea. The instant of occlusion was determined precisely as the time when the two Ppa traces sharply diverged. A single exponential equation was fitted to the segment of distal Ppa tracing starting 0.3 s after the instant of occlusion. Ppc was determined as the value of the exponential fit extrapolated to time 0. In six of seven patients, PA occlusion occurred consistently in the early systolic phase regardless of the timing of balloon inflation. Mean Ppa, Ppc, and pulmonary arterial wedge pressure were 16.6, 11.8, and 7.6 torr. The ratio of venous to total resistance ranged from 0.37 to 0.54 (mean:0.46). We conclude that this technique is clinically feasible and valuable in precise definition of the instant of PA occlusion. By defining PA occlusion consistently, this technique can provide reliable Ppc estimation in the clinical settings.

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