Pressure measurement. Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (pcwp) is an indirect measurement of pressures in the left side of the heart. Low measurements can mean the patient requires more fluid, high pressures can indicate that the heart is failing.
Meas lv fxn. A pulmonary capillary wedge pressure is obtained using a swan-ganz catheter. It measures the functional integrity of the left ventricle from the right side. The higher the number the more impaired the left ventricle is. High wedge pressures are seen in CHF and volume overload. A high wedge in an acute myocardial infarction is associated with a poorer outlook.
Fluid status. The wedge pressure is a measure of the pressure in the small blood vessles in the lung which reflect pressure that is in the heart. It is used to measure the pressure /fluid status of the patient. It goes up when the heart is not functioning well, the patient is fluid overloaded. It also may be low in infections. Doctor use the number to guided treatment and diagnosis conditions.