Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure -PCWP is measured by inserting balloon-tipped, multi-lumen catheter (Swan-Ganz catheter) into a peripheral vein, then advancing the catheter into the right atrium, right ventricle, pulmonary artery, and then into a branch of the pulmonary artery.
Swan-Ganz catheter | The pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) is frequently referred to as a Swan-Ganz catheter. PAC is the insertion of a catheter into a pulmonary artery. Its purpose is diagnostic; it is used to detect heart failure or sepsis, monitor therapy, and evaluate the effects of drugs. The pulmonary artery catheter allows direct, simultaneous measurement of pressures in the right atrium, right ventricle, pulmonary artery, and the filling pressure ("wedge" pressure) of the left atrium.
The pulmonary capillary wedge pressure or PCWP (also called the pulmonary wedge pressure or PWP, or pulmonary artery occlusion pressure or PAOP) is the pressure measured by wedging a pulmonary catheter with an inflated balloon into a small pulmonary arterial branch.
PAWP is pulmonary artery wedge pressure. It measures pressures generated by the left ventricle. It is used to assess left ventricular function. Normal PAWP is 8-12 mmHg. PAWP is increased in left ventricular failure and pericardial tamponade. It is decreased in hypovolemia. ~ PAWP reflects LVEDP under normal conditions, that is, when LVEDP (ventricular preload) is increased, PAWP is increased also.