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See also: cathéter



A Hickman line, a central venous catheter used when long-term intravenous access is required for chemotherapy, dialysis, or other uses

Borrowed from French cathéter, from Ancient Greek καθετήρ (kathetḗr, surgical instrument for emptying the bladder), from καθίημι (kathíēmi, to descend, let down) + -τήρ (-tḗr, suffix forming masculine nouns from verbs).



catheter (plural catheters)

  1. (medicine) A small tube inserted into a body cavity to administer a drug, create an opening, distend a passageway, or remove fluid.
    • 1741 August–December, Archibald Cleland, “XXVI. A Description of a Catheter, Made to Remedy the Inconveniencies Which Occasioned the Leaving Off the High Operation for the Stone; [...]”, in Philosophical Transactions. Giving Some Account of the Present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours, of the Ingenious, in Many Considerable Parts of the World, volume XLI, part II, London: Printed for T. Woodward, and C. Davis, [] printers to the Royal Society, published 1744, page 844:
      And I humbly hope, that the Deſcription, and the Method of uſing this Catheter, will be a means of reviving an Operation ſo happily begun, and calculated for the Good of thoſe that are afflicted with the Stone in the Bladder.
    • 1818, Samuel Cooper, “CATHETER”, in A Dictionary of Practical Surgery: [], 3rd revised, corrected and enlarged edition, London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, orme, and Brown [et al.], →OCLC, page 247, column 2:
      Of course there are two kinds of catheters, one intended for the male, the other for the female urethra. The common catheter is a silver tube, of such diameter as will allow it to be introduced with ease into the urethra, and of various figures and lengths, according as it is intended for the young or adult, the male or female, subject.
    • 1989, Charles Mion, “Practical Use of Peritoneal Dialysis”, in John F[rancis] Maher, editor, Replacement of Renal Function by Dialysis: A Textbook of Dialysis, 3rd updated and enlarged edition, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, →ISBN, page 540:
      Careful positioning of the catheter is essential to achieve a technically satisfactory dialysis. Final placement is made by assessing drainage and by positioning the tip of the catheter according to the patient's comfort.
    • 2008 February, Timothy P. Collins, “On Abandoned Embryos”, in Eugene F. Diamond, editor, The Linacre Quarterly: Journal of the Catholic Medical Association, volume 75, number 1, Wynnewood, Pa.: Catholic Medical Association, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 3:
      Embryos are transferred into a womb using a long, soft catheter attached to a syringe containing the embryos in a transfer solution. The catheter is threaded through the endocervical canal ("birth canal") into the uterine cavity under ultrasound guidance, and the embryos are deposited gently high in the womb.


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  • IPA(key): /ˌkaːˈteː.tər/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ca‧the‧ter


catheter m (plural catheters, diminutive cathetertje n)

  1. Superseded spelling of katheter.

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catheter m (plural catheteres)

  1. Pre-reform spelling (until Brazil 1943/Portugal 1911) of cateter.