A flexible tube of an outer diameter of several millimeters or thinner, inserted in the body to carry out measurement or simple treatment.

Catheters are used for measuring blood pressure or flow rate, sampling or removing body fluid or blood, and infusing drug. It is required to manipulate one end of a catheter placed outside the body and have the inside working end to go through complicatedly wound part and reach the target point. To facilitate this manipulation, catheters are required to have appropriate flexibility and rigidity, so they are made of polymer materials. Active catheters having a working end that can be controlled freely by the operator have also been developed. Some catheters have a balloon or a cutter on working end with which narrowed blood vessels can be surgically extended. The field of application is extending because surgical operations with the use of catheters are less invasive to the patient compared to the conventional method.


[Related Terms]
Active catheter, Fiber endoscope