Six polyvinyl chloride and six polyethylene angioplasty balloons were inflated six times each under laboratory conditions. Outside diameter of the balloons was measured on initial and final inflations; volume was measured by water displacement at each inflation. In addition, three balloons in either group were constricted with a silk suture around the midportion. Balloons were then intentionally ruptured and the rupture site recorded. The diameters of the polyvinyl chloride balloons increased over six inflations, while they remained relatively constant for the polyethylene balloons. Rupture sites were in the area of the balloon that had the greatest outside diameter, and the tears were longitudinal.
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