During the Swan-Ganz catheterization, a thin flexible tube is inserted into the right side of the heart to measure and monitor its functions.
Swan-Ganz catheterization is done in the hospital. First, the patient is given a mild sedative to help him or her relax. Then, an intravenous line is inserted into a vein in the arm to allow drugs to be delivered during the procedure.
The procedure itself involves inserting a thin flexible tube, or catheter, into a large vein in the neck, groin, or arm. This catheter is then threaded all the way into the right side of the heart.
To begin, an area of skin on the neck, groin, or arm is cleaned with an antiseptic. A local anesthetic is injected at the site to numb the area. A small incision is made at this site. Then, the Swan-Ganz catheter is inserted and threaded to the heart.
Once in the heart, the catheter is passed through the right atrium and the right ventricle. From there it goes into the pulmonary artery.
The positioning of the end of the catheter is sometimes guided by X-ray images. Heart function during the procedure is monitored by electrocardiography (ECG), a recording of the electrical activity of the heart.
A person will receive specific instructions from his or her healthcare provider. Often, a Swan-Ganz catheter is placed during emergency situations, such as after a heart attack, when there is little time to prepare.
Normal values for various heart functions are as follows: pulmonary artery systolic pressure, 15 to 30 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury)pulmonary artery average pressure, 9 to 17 mm Hgpulmonary diastolic pressure, 5 to 10 mm Hgpulmonary capillary wedge pressure, 5 to 15 mm Hgcardiac index, 2.4 to 3.8 liters per minute per square meter of body surface arearight atrial pressure, 0 to 5 mm Hg
Abnormal test results may indicate heart disease, shock, heart valve disease, or lung disease.