Response characteristics of esophageal balloon catheters handmade using latex and nonlatex materials

Troy J. Crtoss, Sophie Lalande, Robert E. Hyatt, Bruce D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The measurement of esophageal pressure allows for the calculation of several important and clinically useful parameters of respiratory mechanics. Esophageal pressure is often measured with balloon-tipped catheters. These catheters may be handmade from natural latex condoms and polyethylene tubing. Given the potential of natural latex to cause allergic reaction, it is important to determine whether esophageal catheter balloons can be fabricated, by hand, using nonlatex condoms as construction materials. To determine the static and dynamic response characteristics of esophageal balloon catheters handmade from latex and nonlatex materials, six esophageal catheter balloons were constructed from each of the following condom materials: natural latex, synthetic polyisoprene, and polyurethane (18 total). Static compliance and working volume range of each balloon catheter was obtained from their pressure-volume characteristics in water. The dynamic response of balloon catheters were measured via a pressure “step” test, from which a third-order underdamped transfer function was modeled. The dynamic ranges of balloon catheters were characterized by the frequencies corresponding to ±5% amplitude- and phase-distortion (fA5% and fφ5%). Balloon catheters handmade from polyurethane condoms displayed the smallest working volume range and lowest static balloon compliance. Despite this lower compliance, fA5% and fφ5% were remarkably similar between all balloon materials. Our findings suggest that polyisoprene condoms are an ideal nonlatex construction material to use when fabricating esophageal catheter balloons by hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12426
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Balloon catheter
  • Esophageal pressure
  • Latex
  • Nonlatex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Response characteristics of esophageal balloon catheters handmade using latex and nonlatex materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this