Right heart catheterization in acute lung injury: An observational study

William A. Marinelli, Craig R Weinert, Cynthia R. Gross, John P. Knoedler, Caron L. Bury, James R. Kangas, James W. Leatherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Right heart catheterization (RHC) is commonly used in the diagnosis and management of acute lung injury (ALl). However, controversy exists regarding RHC. We examined RHC use during the first 3 d of ALl in an observational study of 135 patients defined by American-European Consensus Conference criteria. Study parameters examined for association with RHC included the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score, lung injury score (LIS), and 20 additional epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory parameters. RHC was performed in 70 patients (52%) within the first 3 d of ALl. RHC was positively associated (p < 0.05) with a diagnosis of sepsis, APACHE III score, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, net fluid balance, and positive end-expiratory pressure. RHC was negatively associated (p < 0.05) with mean arterial pressure (P̄ā) and Pa(O2)/FI(O2). Logistic regression identified four predictors for RHC placement: sepsis, Pa(O2)/FI(O2), BUN, and P̄ā. Initial right atrial and pulmonary artery occlusion pressure measurements demonstrated a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.72). Use of RHC was associated with a change In one or more therapeutic interventions (intravascular fluids, vasopressors, diuretics) in 78% of patients. In summary, patients receiving RHC during the first 3 d of ALl were more severely ill than those who did not receive RHC, and RHC was associated with a change in therapy In most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

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