Improving the patency of jugular vein catheters in Sprague–Dawley rats by using an antiseptic nitrocellulose coating

Thomas De Luca, Keely L. Szilágyi, Katherine A. Hargreaves, Kimberly S. Collins, Eric A. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Preclinical studies in animals often require frequent blood sampling over prolonged periods. A preferred method in rats is the implantation of a polyurethane catheter into the jugular vein, with heparinized glycerol as a lock solution. However, analysis of various biologic compounds (for example, microRNA) precludes the use of heparin. We used sodium citrate as an alternative to heparin but observed more frequent loss of catheter patency. We hypothesized that this effect was due to evaporation of lock solution at the exteriorized portion of the catheter, subsequent blood infiltration into the catheter, and ultimately clot formation within the catheter. We therefore tested evaporation and its variables in vitro by using 5 common catheter materials. We used the migration of dye into vertically anchored catheters as a measure of lock displacement due to evaporation. Exposure to dry room-temperature air was sufficient to cause dye migration against gravity, whereas a humid environment and adding glycerol to the lock solution mitigated this effect, thus confirming loss of the lock solution from the catheter by evaporation. We tested 4 catheter treatments for the ability to reduce lock evaporation. Results were validated in vivo by using male Sprague–Dawley rats (n = 12) implanted with polyurethane jugular vein catheters and randomized to receive a nitrocellulose-based coating on the exteriorized portion of the catheter. Coating the catheters significantly improved patency, as indicated by a Kaplan–Meier log-rank hazard ratio greater than 5 in untreated catheters. We here demonstrate that a simple nitrocellulose coating reduces evaporation from and thus prolongs the patency of polyurethane catheters in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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