Show Menu

Medical Devices - Baloon Catheters Cheat Sheet by

medical     devices     healthcare     baloon     catheters


Balloon catheters are used in a wide range of minimally invasive diagnostic and therap­eutic proced­ures, including dilating vessels, opening blockages, delivering stents, and more.

There are many factors to consider when designing a balloon catheter, including the applic­ation, type of balloon, type of catheter, and device perfor­mance requir­ements.

3 Main Baloon Types

Noncompliant (high-­pre­ssure) balloons are typically made of polyester or nylon. They’re used for applic­ations in which the balloon needs to expand to a specific diameter and exert high pressure to open a blockage or dilate the vascul­ature.
Semicompliant (midpr­essure) balloons are commonly made of Pebax or higher­-du­rometer polyur­eth­anes. They’re used in applic­ations in which you need mid-high pressures but want more compliance than a noncom­pliant balloon and more flexib­ility to ease delivery.
Compliant (elast­omeric) balloons are typically made of polyur­ethane or silico­ne. They are inflated by volume, rather than pressure. Able to stretch 100% to 800%, they are often used in applic­ations that require the balloon to fully conform to or occlude the anatomy.

Catheter types

Most balloon catheters require support to achieve the column strength needed to insert and advance the catheter into position. There are three common types of catheter designs:
Over-the-wire (OTW) balloon cathet­ers feature a guidewire that tracks along the full length of the catheter.
Rapid exchange (RX) balloon cathet­ers have a guidewire along only a short section (about 25cm), saving time compared with advancing a guidewire through the full length of the catheter.
Fixed-wire (FW) balloon cathet­ers have a wire core built inside the catheter, elimin­ating the need for a guidewire to advance the catheter to the treatment site.

Baloon Catheter

Perfor­mance requir­ements

While there are many perfor­mance charac­ter­istics to consider in a catheter design, some key properties include the following:
Inflation/deflation is the time it takes to inflate and deflate a balloon. To minimize this time, design the catheter to maximize the cross sectional area of the inflation lumen.
Trackability is the catheter’s ability to advance through the anatomy to reach the treatment site. This is especially important for tortuous anatomy, such as in neurol­ogical applic­ations.
Insertion profile is the space needed to insert the catheter into the anatomy. The smaller the insertion profile, the smaller the incision site, which expedites the patient’s healing and recovery process..
These perfor­mance charac­ter­istics are often interr­elated. For example, you can minimize inflation and deflation rates by increasing the diameter of the tubing. However, this also increases the catheter’s insertion profile


The applic­ation for which the catheter will be used is the primary driver of catheter design. Common applic­ations for balloon catheters include:
Renal denerv­ation
Balloon sinuplasty
Transcatheter aortic valve implan­tation (TAVI)
Drug delivery
Stent delivery
Balloon occlusion
Balloon angiop­lasty
Esophageal dilation
Balloon carpal tunnel­plasty

Download the Medical Devices - Baloon Catheters Cheat Sheet

1 Page

PDF (recommended)

Alternative Downloads

Share This Cheat Sheet!



No comments yet. Add yours below!

Add a Comment

Your Comment

Please enter your name.

    Please enter your email address

      Please enter your Comment.

          Related Cheat Sheets

          7 Types of Incontinence Cheat Sheet
          Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale Cheat Sheet

          More Cheat Sheets by Davidpol

          CMS F-Tags and Regulatory Groups Cheat Sheet