The coronary microcatheters available in China can be divided into first-line working microcatheters with flat tip design, dilating/penetrating microcatheters with tapered tip design, dual-lumen microcatheters, and other innovative microcatheters.
First-line working microcatheters are the preferred clinical microcatheters, accounting for approximately 80% of the total microcatheter volume. The most classic first-line working microcatheter is the Finecross MG microcatheter from Terumo, Japan, which has a typical three-layer body design with a flat tip and is the most widely used first-line working microcatheter with the best overall clinical performance in China. It is difficult to pass through occluded lesions. As a result, the latest Finecross GT microcatheter, which is available in Japan, has a bluntly tapered tip, and there are no plans to market the Finecross GT microcatheter in China. In addition, APT launched its first domestic first-line working microcatheter, the Instantpass 1.9F microcatheter, in 2017, followed by companies such as Corech, Contrast, Boston Scientific, and Yeju, which have also launched their own first-line working microcatheters.
The other type of dilatation/through microcatheter with tapered tip design, represented by Tornus (now less commonly used) and Corsair from Asahi, Japan, has a pronounced taper at the tip, which greatly ensures the passage performance of the head end of the microcatheter, coupled with a coil spring reinforced body, and with rotational operation, the passage and maneuverability of the microcatheter are maximized. The Corsair Pro, an upgraded version of the Corsair, has now been licensed for entry into the Chinese market. The Corsair Pro significantly improves the tracking performance of the head end of the microcatheter by removing the metal markings on the head end. The main domestic dilatation/penetration microcatheter is APT’s Instantpass 2.6F microcatheter.
In addition, competition in the coronary microcatheter industry has intensified with the introduction of several innovative designs of microcatheters. Vascular Solutions, Inc. launched the Turnpike series of microcatheters in China in March 2021, which includes four different types of microcatheters: Turnpike, Turnpike LP, Turnpike spiral, and Turnpike gold. In the United States, the most commonly used microcatheters for the forward PCI route are Turnpike Spiral (18%) and Turnpike (16%); the most commonly used microcatheters for the reverse PCI route are Corsair/Corsair Pro (29%), Turnpike LP (26%), and Caravel (22%) . Domestic Epter Med has also introduced the Instantpass 1.7F microcatheter, a reverse CTO tool with an outside diameter of only 1.7F and an effective length of 150/170 cm, which greatly meets the needs of reverse CTO procedures. In addition, Asahi’s Caravel microcatheter, which is known for its “thin stem and large lumen”, will soon be available in the Chinese market.
Dual-lumen microcatheters are currently in the early stages of discovery, with overall usage at about 1% of the total annual PCI volume. There are three brands of dual-lumen microcatheters currently available in China: Kaneka’s KDLC from Japan, Asahi’s Sasuke, and CoreTech’s Zhishuang from China. In addition, APT’s dual-lumen microcatheter is in the process of registration
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