Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
The Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (abbreviated PCWP), as measured by a Swan-Ganz catheter, is the pressure measured in a pulmonary artery after occlusion of that artery. Because of the large compliance of the pulmonary circulation, it provides an indirect measure of the left atrial pressure.
|Normal range: 4 - 12mm Hg|
|Average pressure: 9 mm Hg|
Confirmation that the PA catheter is in the "Wedge" position
A saturation can be drawn from the tip of the catheter. If the saturation approximates that of the arterial system, then the column of blood that has been drawn is saturated and is reflective of left atrial pressure.
Diagnosis of Mitral Regurgitation
The PCWP contains both a waves (reflective of the atrial contraction) and v waves (reflective of ventricular contraction). In the setting of acute mitral regurgitation, large v waves may be present.
- Overview at cvphysiology.com
- Description at virginia.edu
- Pulmonary+wedge+pressure at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)