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January 8, 1997

Effectiveness of Right Heart Catheterization: Time for a Randomized Trial-Reply

Author Affiliations

Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1997;277(2):114. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540260028028

In Reply.  —As pointed out in the letter from the SCCM, my purpose in the Editorial was to stimulate the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to sponsor research on the risks and benefits of the PA catheter. I also agree with the American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and the guidelines promulgated by their group.1 I believe if these guidelines were followed explicitly, the treated subgroup would be one likely to have their outcomes improved. I also congratulate the SCCM in conducting a consensus conference to evaluate utilization and education of physicians and other professionals who use the PA catheter. Unfortunately, the lay media emphasized the possibility of a moratorium rather than our advocacy of a randomized controlled trial. I am an advocate of the PA catheter and have used it extensively. Although I cannot prove it, I think there are subgroups of patients in whom the PA catheter has