Polyurethane versus silicone catheters for central venous port devices implanted at the forearm.
Following routine coronary arteriography, surface irregularities and thrombogenesis of the inner and outer wall of six Ducor polyurethane and six RPX polyethylene coronary catheters were studied by scanning electron microscopy. Polyurethane catheters had rough and highly irregular external and internal surfaces. All catheters showed adherent thrombi on their external surface. The internal surface of three catheters showed evidence of thrombosis. Polyethylene differed from polyurethane in several respects. Although the external surface had an irregular and wavelike appearance, the internal surface was smooth and regular. Two polyethylene catheters showed thrombi on their external surface. The internal surface of one catheter showed single platelets in one area. These results confirm recent reports showing that internal and external surface irregularities play a major role in the initiation of thrombosis in and on intravascular catheters. They stress the need for high quality catheter materials with smooth and regular surfaces in the prevention of thromboembolic complications from coronary arteriography.