Decreased use of right heart catheters from 1996 to 1997

Manu Jain, T. Corbridge, S. Hoff, GR Scott Budinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine whether right heart catheter (RHC) use changed between 1996 and 1997. Methods: A 14-question survey was mailed to members of the Chicago Thoracic Society. Questions were designed to reveal participants' demographics, frequency of RHC use and attitudes toward right heart catheterization between 1996 and 1997. Results: We received 93 responses to 180 (52%) surveys mailed. Of the 93 respondents, 29 did not indicate or denied using right heart catheters. Fifty-one of the remaining surveys were from pulmonologists practicing predominantly in medical intensive care units. Eighteen (35%) of 51 pulmonologists reported decreased RHC use from 1996 to 1997. Two (4%) pulmonologists reported increased use and 31 (61%) reported no change. The percent of pulmonologists at university or academically affiliated hospitals who reported decreased RHC use was greater than the percent of pulmonologists at community hospitals (38% vs. 25%). The most commonly cited reason for decreased use was that pulmonologists saw fewer patients with indications for RHC (56%). Only 1 (2%) respondent felt that RHC use increased morbidity and none felt that it increased mortality, Thirty-three percent of respondents stated that they would not allow their patients to be enrolled in a randomized trial evaluating the RHC efficacy. Conclusion/Clinical Implications: Approximately one-third of pulmonologists practicing in MICUs inserted fewer RHC in 1997 than in 1996. The exact reason for this change is unclear, but it is not due to concerns regarding increased morbidity or mortality. Patient enrollment in a prospective randomized trial of RHC effectiveness may be affected by physician unwillingness to participate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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