Why can pulmonary infarction occur as a complication of SGC placement?
Pulmonary infarction with SGC placement results from obstruction of pulmonary blood flow because of tip placement too peripherally within a pulmonary arterial branch or persistent inflation of the balloon at the catheter tip. Generally, the extent of pulmonary infarction is directly related to the caliber of the occluded vessel and to the portions of lung supplied by it. In general, if the tip of the SGC is situated more than 2 cm lateral to the pulmonary hilum on a frontal chest radiograph, it may be too peripheral in location and should be pulled back. The balloon should be inflated only during the measurement of wedge pressures.