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Article
August 1974

Central Venous Pressure and Pulmonary Wedge Pressure in Critical Surgical IllnessA Comparison

Author Affiliations

From the University Surgical Clinic and Cardiorespiratory Laboratory, Montreal General Hospital, and McGill University (Drs. Burgess and Hampson), Montreal.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(2):265-269. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360020125024
Abstract

To assess the reliability of the central venous pressure (CVP) as an adequate guide to cardiac performance, we inserted a balloon-tipped pulmonary artery catheter (Swan-Ganz 7F, 110 cm) in 27 critically ill surgical patients, and simultaneously measured CVP and pulmonary wedge pressure (PWP). Thirteen patients with a previous history of cardiopulmonary disease showed a poor correlation between CVP and PWP (P>.50). Fourteen patients with no prior history of cardiopulmonary disease showed a significant correlation between CVP and PWP (P<.01). Our findings suggest that the CVP provides a reliable assessment of cardiac function only in the absence of cardiopulmonary disease. Left ventricular failure and pulmonary congestion may be present in these patients even though CVP is normal.

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