Waveform Interpretation: Right Atrial, Right Ventricular, Pulmonary Artery

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.

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.

Author(s): Michael Ragosta III, MD and Lawrence W Gimple, MD

Estimated time to complete: 20 minutes

Credit hours: .25

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.