[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 21-Sep-2009
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Contact: Heather Curry
hcurry@acr-arrs.org
703-390-9822
American College of Radiology

Radiologists and engineers develop a modified catheter to reduce contrast material injuries

Though rare, IV contrast material administration can sometimes result in patient injury. However researchers have developed a modified catheter that may prevent such events from occurring, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

The force of the contrast material exiting the end hole of a standard catheter is what is believed to be one of the main causes of patient injury. For this study, performed at Duke University Medical Center, modified catheters with side holes and slits were developed. An imaging system was used to compare the fluid flow from a modified catheter and a standard catheter.

"We found a less pronounced amount of contrast material exited the end holes of the modified catheter as compared with the standard end-hole-only catheter," said Rendon C. Nelson, MD, senior author of the study. "Numeric calculations showed that the addition of side holes or slits resulted in a nine to 30 percent reduction of the velocity of contrast material exiting the end hole of the catheter. And we saw more of a cloud like dispersal rather than a jet," said Dr. Nelson.

"The rate at which these injuries occur varies from practice to practice. We typically have 14-15 patients per month who suffer from them. Normally the injuries we see are mild, including pain and swelling at the injection site, however they can be more severe," he said.

"As our study suggests, the development of a modified catheter that decreases the jet like phenomenon seen with a standard-end-hole catheter could improve patient safety and decrease the likelihood of injury," said Dr. Nelson.

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This study appears in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@acr-arrs.org or at 703-390-9822.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.



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