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Flexible tip guides and intermediate catheters: two center experience and a proposed taxonomy


Background Stable access to target lesions is foundational to endovascular therapy, be it in hemorrhagic or ischemic disease. Continued evolution in access technology has resulted in next generation catheters that afford improved trackability and proximal support.

Objective Assess safety and patterns of use at two high volume centers, and conceptualize usage patterns.

Materials and methods A retrospective review of 608 cases in which a ‘next generation’ catheter was used during 2008–2010 at Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) and throughout 2009–2010 at Emory University Hospital (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) was conducted, and the cases classified by indication. Catheter placement, distal most location, and related complications were recorded and experience summarized. We also reviewed the differences in the catheters and the rationale for catheter selection, as well as relative costs for each approach.

Results 311 Neuron 053, 166 Neuron 070, 36 distal access catheter (DAC) 3.9 F, 61 DAC 4.3 F, and 34 DAC 5.2 F catheters were deployed. Of these, 459 placements were in the anterior circulation, 130 in the posterior circulation, 11 in the external carotid artery, and eight were used intravenously. Complication rates were 9/131 (6.9%) for the DAC catheter group, 16/311 (5.1%) for the Neuron 053 group, and 14/166 (8.4%) for the Neuron 070 group (p=0.37, χ2 test).

Conclusions Next generation access catheters possess characteristics that blend qualities of traditional microcatheters and stiff guide catheters. There was no statistically significant difference in complication rates between the various catheter families in this small retrospective review, and the complication rates were similar to historical complication rates.

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