What is a guiding catheter?
A guiding catheter is a special type of catheter that does not taper at its tip to the diameter of the guidewire. This configuration allows the passage of devices of large diameter through the catheter. When used in this manner, a guiding catheter functions similarly to a long sheath. In contrast to sheaths, guiding catheters lack a side port and hemostatic valve. Guiding catheters are sized based on the outer diameter. A 7-Fr guiding catheter fits through a 7-Fr sheath, but a 7-Fr device does not fit through a 7-Fr guiding catheter. Guiding catheters are available with various tip configurations.