Catheter Reprocessing for Coronary Angiography: It is Not Safe

Dinaldo C. Oliveira, Flavia Bonfim, Maria Vinhas, Ivan Silva, Magno Teixeira, Andre Galembeck


Background: Coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention are frequently and increasingly performed worldwide. Although catheters for coronary angiography are considered as single-use devices, some people still question this decision. This study evaluated the structural characteristics and thermal stability of new and reprocessed catheters.

Methods: Five catheters (Judkins left) of the same brand and manufacturer were selected for each analysis. We evaluated: new catheters, catheters reprocessed once (first), twice (second), thrice (third), and seven times (seventh). The optical analyses of the proximal, middle and distal parts of the catheters were performed by magnifying glass. Besides, thermogravimetric analyses were done.

Results: After reprocessing, the crushing, color changes, folds, dents, deformations, and lumen narrowing were observed; the stainless-steel framework, the external tortuosity, the interlaced mesh of stainless-steel wires and loss of polymeric material were visualized. Thermogravimetric analysis showed lost of mass of the catheters.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the structural integrity and mass of catheters are lost with reprocessing. These findings may be caused by several steps of reprocessing; however, regardless of which step or steps were responsible, the presence of structural integrity loss leads to the recommendation of not reusing this type of device.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(5):342-347


Coronary angiography; Catheters; Catheterization laboratory; Reprocessing; Magnifying glass

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