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Rounded-Tip Catheter

Harlan Laboratories, in collaboration with Access™ Technologies and Tracy H. Vemulapalli, DVM, MS, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory Animal Medicine Department of Pathobiology Purdue University, completed a study using Hsd:Sprague Dawley® SD® rats to evaluate recommendations for improved patency and biocompatibility in catheterized animals. Because of the statistically significant patency benefit to rounded-tip jugular vein catheters2,6,9,10 and heparin locking solutions5,8,9,10, and the support in the literature involving clinical work1,3,4,7, Harlan uses the rounded-tip catheter for vascular access in catheterized rats. The rounded-tip catheter is Harlan's standard for the jugular vein, femoral vein, portal vein, femoral artery, and carotid artery.

Round Tip CatheterMean Catheter Patency Duration by Tip ConfigurationRound Tip Catheter

Mean Catheter Patency Duration by Tip Configuration

Fig. The relationship between rounded-tip and blunt-tip catheter configurations on Hsd:Sprague Dawley® SD® rats with both 500IU Heparin and Taurolidine Citrate locking solutions. Catheter maintenance was completed at seven (7) day intervals for the length of the study.


  • Increased long-term patency, with a flushing interval of 5-7 days
  • Reduced maintenance requirements
  • No additional cost for rounded-tip versus blunt-tip configuration


  1. Betjes, M. G., & van Agteren, M. (2004). Prevention of dialysis catheter-related sepsis with a citratetaurolidine- containing lock solution. Nephrol Dial Transplant, 19, 1546-51.
  2. Dennis, M. B. Jr, Cole, J. J., Jensen, W. M., & Scribner, B. H. (1984). Long-term blood access by catheters implanted into arteriovenous fistulas of sheep. Lab Anim Sci, 34, 388-92.
  3. Jurewitsch, B., & Jeejeebhoy, K. N. (2005) Taurolidine lock: the key to prevention of recurrent catheter related bloodstream infections. Clin Nutr, 24, 462-5.
  4. Jurewitsch, B., Lee, T., Park, J., & Jeejeebhoy, K. (1998) Taurolidine 2% as an antimicrobial lock solution for prevention of recurrent catheter-related bloodstream infections. JPEN, 22, 242-4.
  5. Luo, Y. S., Luo, Y. L., Ashford, E. B., Morin, R. R., White, W. J., & Fisher, T. F. Comparison of catheter lock solutions in rats. 51th American Association for Laboratory Animal Science National Meeting; San Diego, CA. November 6, 2000.
  6. O’Farrell, L. Optimal central venous catheter design for long-term blood sampling in rats. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science. Pennsylvania State University, Heshey, PA, USA.
  7. Shah, C. B., Mittelman, M. W., Costerton, J. W., Parenteau, S., Pelak, M., & Arsenault, R. (2002). Antimicrobial activity of a novel catheter lock solution. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 46, 1674-9.
  8. Steffens, A. B. (1969). A method for frequent sampling of blood and continuous infusion of fluids in the rat without disturbing the animal. Physiol Behav, 4, 833-836.
  9. Vemulapalli, T. H., & Fredenburg, N. J. (2007). Evaluation of catheter tip configuration and lock solutions in a rat jugular vein catheterization model. 58th American Association for Laboratory Animal Science National Meeting; Charlotte, NC. October 14, 2007.
  10. Vemulapalli, T. H., Fredenburg, N. J., Caraker, S. M., & Stevens, K. A. Evaluation of the effect of rounded tip and catheter lock solution on patency and tissue reactivity of indwelling jugular catheters in rats (manuscript in preparation). Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.

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