Can Millar Mikro-tip Catheters be used to measure intradiscal pressure?

Yes, this is possible.  The primary application for Millar Mikro Tip Pressure Transducers is the measurement of blood pressure, and all Millar pressure catheters have a linear range of -50 mmHg to 300 mmHg. However, Millar pressure catheters also have a non-linear overpressure range of -760 mmHg to 4000 mmHg, which allows these catheters to measure the typical intradiscal pressures of 1000 mmHg to 3000 mmHg. 

The LabChart software's Multi-Point Calibration Extension can be used to account for the non-linearity of the catheter's response.  Millar Pressure Control Units (such as the PCU-2000) have a maximum output of 5 Volts (500 mmHg), and are not able to measure the pressures generated in these applications.  Thus, it is recommended to use an ADInstruments Bridge Amplifier, which has the necessary output range.  Aside from the software and hardware mentioned above, all that will be required is a pressure source capable of generating pressures in the 3000 mmHg to 4000 mmHg range, and a pressure gauge capable of accurately measuring pressures in that same range.

WARNING: Surgical and application related damage to the catheter is not covered under warranty. In some instances, intradiscal pressures can exceed 4000 mmHg which will exceed the range of Millar catheters. An alternative 3rd party pressure catheter may be used with ADInstruments Bridge Amplifiers for pressures exceeding 4000 mmHg. 

See the articles listed below for examples of using Millar catheters for the determination of intradiscal pressure.

For further technical assistance with this or any other issue, please contact ADInstruments Technical Support by clicking HERE.