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May 1974

Prolonged Radial-Artery CatheterizationAn Evaluation of Heparinized Catheters and Continuous Irrigation

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla
From the departments of anesthesiology (Drs. Downs and Chapman) and radiology (Dr. Hawkins), University of Florida, College of Medicine, Gainesville, Fla.

Arch Surg. 1974;108(5):671-673. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350290035004

Previously, we found that intermittent flushing of indwelling arterial catheters frequently resulted in arterial occlusion and catheter dysfunction. Twenty-gauge Teflon catheters, which caused less thromboses than 18-gauge catheters, still caused thrombus formation that nearly occluded the vessel within four days. To study the effect of constant irrigation and to evaluate the difference between 20-gauge Teflon and 20-gauge heparin sodium-impregnated polyethylene catheters, 20 patients were observed. Their radial arteries were cannulated and the catheters were connected to a constant infusion system. Arteriograms disclosed that heparin-impregnated polyethylene catheters resulted in significantly more thrombus formation than Teflon catheters. Teflon catheters maintained with a constant irrigation system resulted in minimal thrombus formation even when the catheter had been in place for up to ten days.