PURPOSE - To determine the tolerance of 0.021-inch and 0.027-inch microcatheters to power injection in an in vitro flow model.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Twenty-four microcatheters (0.021-inch, n = 13; 0.027-inch, n = 11) were injected with iothalamate meglumine through a flow model with use of a power injector and high-pressure tubing. Catheters used included Rebar (0.021-inch, n = 4; 0.027-inch, n = 4), Transit (0.021-inch, n = 3; 0.027-inch, n = 3), Renegade (0.021-inch, n = 4; 0.027-inch, n = 4), and Renegade STC-18 (0.021-inch, n = 2) models. Through the 0.021-inch microcatheters, 5-second injections were performed at an initial rate of 0.7 mL/sec. Injection rates were increased by 0.5 mL/sec and the process was repeated until the pressure approached 1,000 psi or catheter breakage occurred. A similar process was repeated for the 0.027-inch catheters starting at a rate of 3.4 mL/sec.
RESULTS - The 0.021-inch catheters were injected 303 times and the 0.027-inch catheters were injected 210 times. Three catheter failures occurred, with all breaks occurring at pressures greater than manufacturer recommendations. The 0.027-inch catheters as a group tolerated significantly higher injection rates than the 0.021-inch catheters. Of the 0.021-inch catheters, the STC-18 also provided superior maximum flow and volume compared with the Renegade catheter. The Rebar catheter tolerated significantly lower maximum injection rates and volumes than the other 0.027-inch catheters.
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of microcatheters can be power-injected in vitro at pressures far greater than manufacturer recommendations. When fractures occur, they are near the hub of the catheter. Significantly greater rates of injection are possible through 0.027-inch catheters.