I am working in a medical-physics field and want to summarize some information about guidewires. I have read, that guidewires can sometimes have their tip bend slightly in one direction, in order for them to follow a certain centreline of the vessel better. Now I am wondering, why this helps for steering/ choosing the right path? Any hints/ literature is appreciated, Thank you a lot!

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    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 21:49
  • 2
    I think what you're asking about are what's known as steerable catheters. Those are catheters than can bend and flex the way the doctor wants using a control on the handle. If you lookup steerable catheters, I think you'll find more useful information.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 21:57
  • 1
    @CareyGregory Guidewires aren't the same as steerable catheters, they're usually used with a traditional vascular catheter/introducer.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


An endovascular wire moves by being manipulated mechanically at the shaft, outside the body. All you can do with a wire is push/pull it and twist it. When you push forward, it goes the way the tip is pointed, roughly (it also depends on the geometry of the vessel and how it biases against the vessel wall; it's pretty intuitive if you try it in a model).

If you bend the tip, you can change which way it points by rotating the shaft. If the tip isn't bent, you can't steer. Even wires that are shipped unbent may be bent by the practitioner according to their favorite preference of bend length and angle (and this preference may depend on the case, too).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8612832/ is the first article that came up when I searched endovascular wire guidance though it discusses a broad variety of wire properties.

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