Author + information
- Boaz Avitall, MD, PhD, FACC∗,
- Miqdad Khan, MD,
- David Krum, MSEE,
- Mohammad Jazayeri, MD, FACC and
- John Hare, BS
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Boaz Avitall, MD, PhD, Sinai Samaritan Medical Center, 950 North 12th Street, W-429, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201.
Objectives. The objective of this study was to provide insight into the time course of electrical, physical and mechanical changes in ablation catheters after use that may affect the safety and efficacy of the ablation procedure.
Background. An increasing number of institutions are reusing deflectable ablation catheters. At present, there are no data concerning the safety of reusing ablation catheters.
Methods. Over a period of 1 year, 69 Webster/Mansfield deflectable catheters used in 336 ablation procedures were prospectively studied. An additional 18 new catheters were tested after multiple sterilisations only. The catheters were evaluated for electrical and physical integrity and mechanical capabilities. These include deflection at room temperature and 37 °C, shaft compression and buckling during deflection, tip craters, torquing ability, glue separation and tip attachment using a stereoscope at x30 magnification and electrical resistance for each electrode. After each use, the catheters were gas-sterilized with ethylene oxide.
Results. The most common reasons for catheter rejection were tip electrode glue separation after 43 ± 4.3 uses and loss of deflection after 5.0 ± 3.3 uses. Electrical discontinuity between the catheter handle and electrodes was observed after 10.0 ± 3.7 uses. There was no significant decrease in catheter torquing ability with repeated use. In this study the total estimated savings was $128,133, which includes the cost of catheter reprocessing. The reuse of Webster/Mansfield ablation catheters has not resulted in any major catheter failure or any major adverse clinical complications.
Conclusions. On the basis of these observations, we believe that the Webster/Mansfield catheter can be reused an average of five times. It is strongly recommended that after each use catheters be carefully examined under appropriate magnification (x30) and that special attention be given to the ablation tip electrode. The catheters should also be tested for deflection and electrical integrity.
- Received April 28, 1993.
- Accepted June 30, 1993.