Your heart has four chambers: a right and left ventricle and a right and left atrium. If you have heart problems, your doctor may measure pressures within those chambers.
Blood returning from the rest of your body enters the heart through the right atrium, is passed to the right ventricle and routed to your lungs. Oxygen-rich blood returns from the lungs to the left atrium, is pumped into the left ventricle and is routed to the rest of the body.
A pulmonary artery catheter can be inserted through one of your large central veins into the right side of your heart to measure right ventricular pressure.
The pressure measured when your right ventricle contracts to send blood to the lungs is called the systolic pressure. When your right ventricle relaxes, the lower pressure is called the diastolic pressure.
According to LiDCO, a company that makes cardiac sensors for hospitals, the normal right ventricular pressure should be 15 to 25 mm Hg systolic and 0 to 8 mm Hg diastolic.
When a health-care provider looks at right ventricular pressure readings, she will also consider pressure readings from other chambers of the heart. The combined data will give her clues about what’s going on in your heart.
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