Services & Treatments

Right Heart Catheterization (Pulmonary Artery Catheterization)


This test sends a long, thin tube called a "catheter" into the right side of your heart. Through this tube, we get a lot of info about how well your heart is working.


To begin, you lie down. We give you medicine to make you feel relaxed and numb. Now, we make a small opening in one of your veins so we can insert the catheter. Often, we use the jugular vein. That's a large vein in your neck. But we could choose to use a different one. We insert the catheter into your vein and carefully guide it to the right side of your heart and into the pulmonary artery. This is the large artery that sends blood from the heart to the lungs.

Gathering info

We use the catheter to gather info about your heart function. We measure the pressures in the chambers of your heart and in the pulmonary artery. We may ask you to do things like cough or hold your breath during the test. We may also give you medicine through the catheter to see how your heart responds.

End of procedure

When it's done, we remove the catheter. We'll let you know when it's safe to go home. Your doctor will follow up with you about the results of your test. If you're an intensive care patient, we may need to leave the catheter in place so you can be monitored and treated.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Willis Knighton Health