How to Test Multi-Lumen Catheters for Leaks and Blockages



Market Requirement: 

Multi-lumen catheters are used in a multitude of minimally invasive clinical procedures.

This type of catheter has a single tube with multiple internal pathways/lumens (tubes within a tube) isolated from one another. It permits external access of media to each lumen individually, typically without cross-contact with any other pathway inside the catheter. Often these are used for exchange of blood or to permit drug/solution delivery within the vasculature of the patient. 

Most catheters are tested after final assembly: they are tipped and have skived holes cut radially on the outside diameter of the multi-lumen shaft at the distal end of the catheter. Others are tested prior to finishing when untipped and before any skived holes have been cut.

Leak testing either configuration requires a two-step process to first find leaks and then determine whether there are blockages. This application note provides an example of a test process to achieve 100% testing of parts in production.

CTS Solution: 

The most common test method is dry compressed air or nitrogen pressure decay leak testing and either mass flow or pressure decay for blockage. The single-channel Sentinel Blackbelt with 2, 3 or 4 sequential ports are designed for this purpose. Most multi-lumen catheters require testing at pressures ranging from 5 psig to 200 psig.

Read the application note below to learn about each step of the testing process. 

Download (2 mb) How to Test Multi-Lumen Catheters for Leaks and Blockages