OBJECTIVES: To determine the basic physiochemical properties and rheological activity of detergent sclerosants.
METHODS: Sodium tetradecyl sulphate and polidocanol liquid and foam sclerosants were investigated in a range of concentrations (0.1-3%), liquid-plus-air fractions (1+2 to 1+8) and dilutions in water (stock solutions) or in normal saline. The embolic agent ethanol was investigated for comparison. Density was measured using a digital balance. Surface tension was measured by the Du Nuoy ring method and used to determine the critical micellar concentration. Viscosity was measured using a cone-plate rheometer for liquid and a modified parallel plate method for foam.
RESULTS: Liquid sclerosant density decreased as the sclerosant concentration increased while foam density decreased with the increasing air fraction. The critical micellar concentration of polidocanol was 0.002% in both normal saline and water while that of sodium tetradecyl sulphate was 0.075% in normal saline and 0.200% in water. Viscosity of liquid sodium tetradecyl sulphate was lower than that of polidocanol. Foam sclerosants were at least 10,000-fold more viscous than liquid sclerosants and ethanol. All agents demonstrated a Non-Newtonian shear-thinning behaviour with a fall in viscosity at lower shear rates (<10 s(-1)). Polidocanol (but not sodium tetradecyl sulphate) foam viscosity progressively increased with increasing sclerosant concentration and liquid-plus-air fractions.
CONCLUSIONS: Liquid and foam sclerosants and ethanol are Non-Newtonian shear thinning fluids. Foam sclerosants are significantly more viscous than liquid agents.
- critical micelle concentration
- sodium tetradecyl sulphate
- surface tension