Relationship of pulmonary artery catheter use to mortality and resource utilization in patients with severe sepsis

D. Tony Yu, Richard Platt, Paul N. Lanken, Edgar Black, Kenneth E. Sands, J. Sanford Schwartz, Patricia L. Hibberd, Paul S. Graman, Katherine L. Kahn, David R. Snydman, Jeffrey Parsonnet, Richard Moore, David W. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship of pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) use to patient outcomes, including mortality rate and resource utilization, in patients with severe sepsis in eight academic medical centers. Design: Case-control, nested within a prospective cohort study. Setting: Eight academic tertiary care centers. Patients: Stratified random sample of 1,010 adult admissions with severe sepsis. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: The main outcome measures were in-hospital mortality, total hospital charge, and length of stay (LOS) for patients with and without PAC use. The case-matched subset of patients included 141 pairs managed with and without the use of a PAC. The mortality rate was slightly but not statistically significantly lower among the PAC use group compared with those not using a PAC (41.1% vs. 46.8%, p = .34). Even this trend disappeared after we adjusted for the Charlson comorbidity score and sepsis-specific Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III (adjusted odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.61-1.72). In linear regression models adjusted for the Charlson comorbidity score, sepsis-specific APACHE III, surgical status, receipt of a steroid before sepsis onset, presence of a Hickman catheter, and preonset LOS, no significant differences were found for total hospital charges (US$139,207 vs. 148,190, adjusted mean comparing PAC and non-PAC group, p = .57), postonset LOS (23.4 vs. 26.9 days, adjusted mean, p = .32), or total LOS in intensive care unit (18.2 vs. 18.8 days, adjusted mean, p = .82). Conclusions: Among patients with severe sepsis, PAC placement was not associated with a change in mortality rate or resource utilization, although small nonsignificant trends toward lower resource utilization were present in the PAC group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2734-2741
Number of pages8
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Bacteremia
  • Catheter
  • Cohort study
  • Mortality
  • Resource utilization
  • Sepsis
  • Severe sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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