Routine cardiac catheterization provides data on left heart, right heart, systemic and pulmonary arterial pressures, vascular resistances, cardiac output, and ejection fraction. These data are often then applied as markers of cardiac preload, afterload, and global function, although each of these parameters reflects more complex interactions between the heart and its internal and external loads. This article reviews more specific gold standard assessments of ventricular and arterial properties, and how these relate to the parameters reported and utilized in practice, and then discusses the re-emerging importance of invasive hemodynamics in the assessment and management of heart failure.
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