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Urinary catheter for single use, 40 cm

Catheters are small tubes or hoses of various diameters made of plastic , rubber , silicone , metal or glass with which hollow organs such as the urinary bladder , stomach , intestines , blood vessels , but also the ear and heart can be probed, emptied, filled or flushed.

The word comes from the Greek καθετήρ kathetérprobe ” (from καϑιέναι kathiénai “to lower, to throw down ”) and in medical literature also means “probe or fine point for injections into the urinary bladder”.

A catheter is used for diagnostic (examination-related) or therapeutic (treatment-related) reasons. Inserting a catheter is called catheterization or catheterization . Its outside diameter is often given in Charrière (Charr.) Or French (Fr) . The inner diameter ( caliber ) is variable.

Medical applications

A venous catheter is also known as a central venous catheter or peripheral venous indwelling catheter , Broviac catheter , Hickman catheter or port catheter . In the dialysis therapy come Shaldon catheter and Demers catheter used and peritoneal catheter to carry out the peritoneal dialysis .

In urology , catheters are used for urinary diversion and as an aid in diagnostics and therapy . In diagnostics, they are used to collect urine and introduce drugs and contrast media .

Urinary catheters are used to drain urine from the bladder through the urethra or the abdominal wall. Ureteral catheters are used (since 1890) to drain urine from the kidney via the ureter into the bladder or to the outside. Nephrostomy catheters are used to drain urine from the renal pelvis through the skin to the outside.

In conventional angiography , vascular catheters and balloon catheters are used . In the cardiology come cardiac catheter used.

In anesthesia , epidural catheters and other catheters are used for continuous regional anesthesia . Tube catheters are used in ear, nose and throat medicine .

Catheters are also used in reproductive medicine (medical reproductive technology), as pleural catheters in surgery or thoracic surgery (see pleural effusion ) and for creating an intravenous access in general (closed catheter systems reduce the risk of contamination and infection).

See also


  1. ^ W. Pape: Greek German Concise Dictionary . Graz 1954. Volume 1, p. 1283.
  2. Horst Kremling : The cystoscopy - historical considerations. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 11, 1993, pp. 5-8; here:; P. 6.

Web links

Wiktionary: catheter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations