It refers to a measure of the blood pressure that experts find in the main pulmonary artery.
The right ventricle of the heart generates Pulmonary Artery Pressure (PAP) by ejecting blood into the pulmonary circulation. That results in a resistance to the output from the right ventricle.
During each contraction, the heart that forces blood into the aorta and pulmonary arteries, which increases the volume of pulmonary arterial blood stretching the walls of these vessels.
During the period of relaxation and repolarization of the ventricular muscle, blood continues to flow from the pulmonary artery into the pulmonary circulation.
The role of chief resistance vessels falls to the smaller arteries and arterioles. Through changes in their diameter, they regulate pulmonary vascular resistance.
Even though the flow of blood through the pulmonary circulation is pretty much the same as the blood flow through the systemic circulation, the pulmonary vascular resistance tends to be 1o or 15 times lower than the systemic vascular resistance.
PAP gets measured very often in cases of cardiac catheterization. Medical experts often use a device called transducer to get Mean PAP, systolic PAP, and diastolic PAP.
However, several doctors use a wide variety of means and diagnostic procedures to measure this parameter. Some of them get featured in this article.
The Pressure Transducer, also known as a pressure transmitter, is a device that converts pressure into electrical signals.
The Transducer, more often than not, consists of two primary parts, one of them being an elastic material which gets deformed each time it gets exposed to a pressurized medium, and an electrical device that detects the deformation.
The elastic material comes in different shapes and sizes depending on what are the sensing principles and range of pressures that medical experts want to measure.
Usually, most people give the elastic material the form of a diaphragm (a thin flexible membrane).
The device gets combined with this thin membrane and the pressure applied produces a deflection of the diaphragm.
Recent studies confirm that medical experts can measure Pulmonary Artery Diastolic Pressure employing a Pressure Transducer positioned in the right ventricle.
However, several factors can influence the readings such as the patient’s position, the level of the transducer, air bubbles, open connections and the length of the catheter tubing.
All of these factors would easily introduce errors into the measurement process.
Diagnostic Pressure Catheter
A Cardiovascular Pressure Catheter can provide with accurate signals and a more in-depth insight regarding a patient’s cardiovascular functions.
Some healthcare providers compared Cardiovascular Pressure Catheter to fluid-filled catheters, which led them to claim that the diagnostic pressure catheter delivers real-time, and more accurate blood pressure data.
Unlike the Pressure Transducer, the readings don’t suffer alterations from the patient’s height or position changes. That is because the sensor measures blood pressure at the source.
Clinicians introduce this catheter into the pulmonary artery to measure Right Ventricular Pressures and Mean Arterial Pressures.
The results that medical experts get is a simplification in the reading and recording of PAP and other derived parameters.
Doctors can use it as a minimally invasive device under short-term limited body contact, more often than not, for a period below the 24-hours range.
The Echocardiography, also known as Echocardiogram or “echo,” is a sonogram (an image of the insides of the body generated by sound waves) of the heart.
Thanks to technological improvements, this diagnostic procedure had become sensitive enough to quantify PAP.
Some Medical experts acknowledge Echocardiography as a safe and readily available alternative to right heart catheterization.
Conditions that alter PAP
Several diseases feature as main signs an alteration in the PAP. One of such conditions being Pulmonary Hypertension.
Pulmonary Hypertension refers to elevated blood pressure in the heart-to-lung system that results in the heart overworking itself to force blood into the pulmonary arteries.
Another condition that alters the PAP is Heart Failure, which occurs when the heart muscle becomes unable to pump enough blood to keep the healthy flow that the body needs.
Naturally, this chronic condition affects the flow of blood through the pulmonary arteries as well.
Pulmonary Vascular Disease is another pathology that doctors can diagnose through the measurement of PAP. It consists of increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries.