Benefits, risks and alternatives of pulmonary artery catheterization

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Twenty-five years after the introduction of the pulmonary artery catheter in clinical practice, its effectiveness in improving patient outcome is seriously questioned. Experts still recommend to use pulmonary artery catheters in selected critically ill patients, although evidence supporting these recommendations is lacking. The risks and the unclear benefits associated with this procedure should prompt the search for alternative, noninvasive monitoring techniques.

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