Can microcatheters be cleaned for reuse after NBCA embolization? Cleaning technique with gelatin sponge particles

Jpn J Radiol. 2015 Aug;33(8):509-16. doi: 10.1007/s11604-015-0446-x. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Purpose: To study a new technique for cleaning microcatheters for reuse after NBCA embolization ("NBCA"), and to evaluate the clinical reusability of microcatheters that were cleaned with gelatin sponge particles after NBCA.

Materials and methods: Four cleaning solution flushes for microcatheters after NBCA injection-5 % glucose ("glucose") only, Lipiodol-glucose, gelatin sponge particles ("gelatin")-glucose, and Lipiodol-gelatin-glucose-were examined experimentally. These solutions were evaluated by performing three examinations: a microcatheter resistance test based on the time taken to pass water through the microcatheter, a microcatheter resistance test based on the ease of insertion of a microguidewire, and observations of the inner surfaces of the cylinders after NBCA. Microcatheters that had already been used in NBCA were cleaned using this new technique and then applied in 20 clinical sessions (19 patients).

Results: There was no significant difference in water passage time between the controls and the groups that received a gelatin flush. In the resistance test based on the insertion of a microguidewire, groups that received a gelatin flush showed significantly less resistance than the groups that did not receive a gelatin flush. Observations of the inner surfaces of the cylinders indicated that cleaning with gelatin can lead to inner surfaces that are almost indistinguishable from control surfaces in terms of cleanliness. All clinical procedures involving Lipiodol-gelatin-glucose flushes were performed without any technical difficulties or complications.

Conclusions: Applying the new cleaning technique utilizing gelatin sponge particles to microcatheters after NBCA ensures that they are clean enough to be reused.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheters* / standards
  • Detergents / administration & dosage*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / instrumentation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / standards
  • Enbucrilate* / administration & dosage
  • Equipment Reuse / standards
  • Ethiodized Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gelatin Sponge, Absorbable / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Microspheres
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Syringes


  • Detergents
  • Ethiodized Oil
  • Enbucrilate
  • Glucose