Swan-Ganz catheter
A thin, flexible tube that is inserted through one of the large veins (the inferior or superior vena cava) that return blood to the heart. The catheter is flow-directed. It uses a balloon to carry it through the vena cava to the heart, through the right side of the heart (the right atrium and right ventricle) to the pulmonary artery. Once there, the catheter is purposely positioned in a small branch of the pulmonary artery. Then a pressure called the pulmonary wedge pressure is measured in front of the temporarily inflated and wedged balloon. The catheter is named for the American cardiologists Harold James C. Swan (1922-) and William Ganz (1919-) who designed it for this purpose.

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Swan-Ganz catheter 'swän-'ganz- n a soft catheter with an expandable balloon tip that is used for measuring blood pressure in the pulmonary artery
Swan Harold James Charles (b 1922), and
Ganz William (b 1919)
American cardiologists. From the 1960s Swan served as director of cardiology at a Los Angeles medical center and as professor of medicine at the University of California. In 1970 he introduced a catheter with an expandable balloon tip for use in measuring blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. Swan was greatly assisted in the development of the balloon catheter by Ganz. Together Swan and Ganz also developed a multipurpose catheter that incorporates a number of electrodes in its shaft.

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a catheter with an inflatable balloon at its tip, which can be inserted into the pulmonary artery via the right chambers of the heart. Inflation of the balloon enables measurement of pressure in the left atrium and hence pulmonary artery pressure.
H. J. C. Swan (1922- ), US cardiologist; W. Ganz (20th century), US engineer

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a soft, flow-directed pulmonary artery catheter of the balloon-tip type; it is introduced into the venous system via an internal jugular or subclavian vein and is guided by blood flow into the superior vena cava, the right atrium and ventricle, and into the pulmonary artery.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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