Study of the performance of 5 French and 7 French catheters in coronary angiography: a functional comparison

Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1989 Nov;18(3):131-5. doi: 10.1002/ccd.1810180302.


The functional efficacy of a conventional 7F (high flow) coronary catheter (hand injection) was compared with a 5F (high flow) catheter using hand and powered injection in 29 patients with ischemic heart disease. Patients were randomized to 5F or 7F catheters as the initial catheter. Consecutive comparative coronary angiograms were performed in the 15 degrees right anterior oblique (RAO) view using Judkin's technique. Visual diagnostic grade (Grade 1 = Diagnostic, Grade 2 = Equivocal, Grade 3 = Nondiagnostic), vessel filling, vessel density (using a densitometer and corrected for background), streaming, and dislodgement were all evaluated independently by two experienced angiographers with correlation of results. Mean diagnostic grade (1.31 +/- 0.48) was significantly better with the 7F compared to 5F (hand) 1.72 +/- 0.81 and 5F (power) 2.00 +/- 0.71 (P less than or equal to 0.05) for each. Streaming was seen in 55% of injections with 5F (hand) versus 88.5% with 5F (power) and 20.7% with 7F. Measured vessel density was not different for the two catheters. Coronary injection dislodgement occurred significantly more often with 5F power injections than with hand injection of either catheter. Finally, in 6 (30%) of 20 patients in which the 5F was randomly the second catheter used, the operator had to revert to the 7F catheter in order to obtain adequate images. In conclusion, angiographic quality is reduced with 5F catheters compared to 7F high flow in certain patients. Thus, to achieve optimal diagnostic angiograms, larger lumen catheters may be required during certain procedures initially begun with 5F catheters.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Cardiac Output
  • Catheterization, Swan-Ganz / instrumentation
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans