Navigation guidewires

Last revised by Yahya Baba on 5 Jul 2023

Navigation guidewires are interventional procedure guidewires used to navigate, maneuver and subselect structures and vessel targets. They are inserted after securing access with a sheath/catheter and are often exchanged for a rail wire after reaching the target destination 1.

Navigation wire comes in different tip shapes, floppy tip lengths, sizes, and lengths, but they generally have 1,2:

  • soft curved/shaped tip - to facilitate vessel sub-selection

  • floppy body

  • hydrophilic or hydrophobic, but hydrophilic offers less resistance during navigation in fluid-filled vessels or structures

  • less stiff than rail wires

  • crossing tortuous structures

  • vascular stenosis or clogged catheter - to avoid shearing and embolization 2

  • tight biliary stricture

  • fluid-filled hollow structures (e.g. biliary tree, urinary or digestive tract)

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