Glossary Entry: Catheter Guide Wire


Definition: A catheter guide wire is a flexible, thin wire used to guide the insertion of a catheter into the body, assisting in navigating through blood vessels or other anatomical structures. It plays a crucial role in medical procedures that require the precise placement of catheters for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Catheter guide wires come in various lengths and diameters, with specialized designs for specific medical procedures, such as coronary angiography, vascular interventions, or urological interventions. Some guide wires may have hydrophilic or hydrophobic coatings to facilitate navigation through the body’s tissues and fluids.


Common Uses: Catheter guide wires are commonly used in cardiac catheterization, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, central venous catheterization, and other interventional procedures that require the precise navigation of catheters within the body.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: Proper insertion and placement of a catheter guide wire involve carefully advancing the wire through the lumen of the catheter into the desired anatomical location using fluoroscopy or other imaging modalities. The physician must use techniques such as the Seldinger technique to ensure safe and accurate placement.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with the use of catheter guide wires include vessel perforation, dissection, or embolization, as well as wire entrapment or kinking. These risks require careful monitoring and skilled handling during the procedure.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Catheter guide wires require proper cleaning and handling to prevent contamination and damage. They should be stored in a dry, clean environment and inspected for any signs of wear or damage before each use.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Other related devices commonly used with catheter guide wires include introducer sheaths, dilators, angioplasty balloons, and stents that complement the catheterization and intervention process.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in catheter guide wire technology include the development of hydrophilic coatings for improved lubricity and steerability, as well as enhanced radiopacity for better visualization during procedures.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: The use of catheter guide wires is subject to regulatory considerations and safety guidelines, including proper documentation, sterilization protocols, and compliance with medical device regulations to ensure patient safety and quality standards.