The pulmonary artery catheter: In medio virtus

Jean Louis Vincent, Michael R. Pinsky, Charles L. Sprung, Mitchell Levy, John J. Marini, Didier Payen, Andrew Rhodes, Jukka Takala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: To clarify the role of the pulmonary artery catheter in the intensive care unit. DATA SOURCES:: Recent and relevant literature from MEDLINE and authors' personal databases. STUDY SELECTION:: Studies on pulmonary artery catheter use and use of other monitoring devices in critically ill patients. DATA EXTRACTION:: Based largely on clinical experience and assessment of the relevant published literature and in response to recent articles attacking the pulmonary artery catheter, we propose that the pulmonary artery catheter is still a valuable tool for the hemodynamic monitoring of patients with complex disease processes in whom the information obtained from the pulmonary artery catheter may influence management. We suggest that there is a need to revisit the basics of hemodynamic management and reassess the way in which the pulmonary artery catheter is used, applying three key principles: correct measurement, correct data interpretation, and correct application. CONCLUSION:: The pulmonary artery catheter is still a valuable tool for hemodynamic monitoring when used in selected patients and by physicians adequately trained to correctly interpret and apply the data provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3093-3096
Number of pages4
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Cardiovascular function
  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • Pulmonary artery catheter


Dive into the research topics of 'The pulmonary artery catheter: In medio virtus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this