Many cardiac and critical care patients undergo right-heart catheterization to measure pressures and oxygen saturations in the right-sided cardiac chambers. In addition to the absolute value of these measurements, there is significant information about cardiac physiology and pathology that can be gained by examining the various waves and morphologies of the pressure recordings. The pulmonary capillary wedge pressure recordings, by serving as a surrogate for left atrial pressure measurement in most patients, can provide critical information about left heart function.

Course Details

In this course, you will learn:
  • In a right atrial pressure recording, to correctly identify and distinguish the “a”, “c”, and “v” waves and the “x” and “y” descents.
  • To define the cardiac events which produce the “a”, “c”, and “v” waves and the “x” and “y” descents.

Method and medium:

Learners participate in the interactive learning modules by correctly answering multiple choice questions dispersed throughout. Learners will be prompted to try again if a question is answered incorrectly.

The course will open in a new tab – to exit the course, simply close that tab.


Estimated time to Complete: 20 minutes
Credit/contact hours: .25
Expiration date: March 7, 2021
Publication date: March 8, 2018

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Course Authors

Lawrence W Gimple, MD

Dr. Gimple is an attending cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System with a sub-specialty in interventional cardiology.
Learn More about Lawrence W Gimple, MD.

DISCLOSURE: This individual reports no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.

Michael Ragosta III, MD

Professor of Medicine/Cardiology

Dr. Michael Ragosta is an attending cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System with a sub-specialty in interventional cardiology. 
Learn More about Michael Ragosta III, MD.

DISCLOSURE: This individual reports no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.