Clinical cardiac electrophysiological (EP) procedures have been increasingly used for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. During the procedure, 3-6 cardiac catheters, which incorporate platinum electrodes are used to record electrical signals or pace the heart. These EP catheters are solid nonluminal designs without any hollow inner core. Some special EP catheters have deflection mechanisms used to deflect the tip to help guide the catheter to a specific target for mapping and/or delivering radiofrequency energy for curative ablation procedure. The early experience showed that EP catheters were quite durable and could be sterilized for reuse, as has been the practice for many surgical instruments. The obvious motives was to reduce cost and eliminate the waste of catheters that could be reused without compromising patient safety. However, reusing catheters can potentially lead to several adverse consequences, including introducing infectious organisms, pyrogens, or toxin or particles into the patients' body. There is an inherent risk of catheter breakage and bioincompatibility. Therefore, it is important to balance against the risks and cost- effectiveness of reusing EP catheters.
Hung-Fat Tse, Kathy Lai-Fun Lee, Raymond Hon-Wah Chan, Chu-Pak Lau, Is It Safe to Reuse Single-Use Catheter for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Electro- physiological Procedures? Journal of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology 2003;11(2) https://doi.org/10.55503/2790-6744.1145
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