In Vitro Performance Characteristics of Reused Ablation Catheters
Background: Prior studies have found that there is a widespread practice of catheter reprocessing in cardiac electrophysiology laboratories. Effects of reprocessing of ablation catheters on temperature sensing and mechanical deflection are not fully known.
Methods: Twenty-four new and used ablation catheters were studied. Deviation of temperature sensing by catheters from the temperature of a heated saline bath was measured. The angle of deflection of digitally scanned catheters at 75% and 100% handle deflection was also measured. New and used catheters were compared with respect to their temperature sensing accuracy and deflection characteristics.
Results: Overall, there was 0.7 ± 0.1°C (mean ± standard error) deviation of the sensed temperature from the bath temperature, with no significant difference between new and used catheters. Similarly, there was no significant difference in the angle of deflection between new (66.7° ± 6.2° and 24.3° ± 6.8° at 75% and 100% deflections, respectively) and used (59.6° ± 5.6° and 28.7° ± 9.9° at 75% and 100% deflections, respectively) catheters. The difference in the angle of deflection between matched new and used catheters was 18.9° ± 4.2° and 10.9° ± 2.4° at 75% and 100% deflections, respectively, with a relatively broad range (5.0°–35.6° and 0.4°–19.0° at 75% and 100% deflections, respectively).
Conclusions: This study found no significant overall difference in temperature sensing accuracy and deflection angle of new and used ablation catheters. Nevertheless, individual differences in deflection characteristics between new and used catheters are occasionally seen and warrant screening of reprocessed catheters prior to their reuse.
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