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Water porosity testing of vascular prostheses is used by the manufacturer as a measure of quality control. It is also used by the surgeon to indicate ease of preparation and preclotting of the prostheses. The test was initially derived as a modification of the air porosity testing which is commonly done by textile manufacturers. Although porosity testing has been common for about 20 years, the equipment is not fully standardized and varying results are quoted by different laboratories. The results of a round robin test are presented as well as a series of experimental studies in which test parameters were deliberately varied. The effects of pretensioning prosthesis specimens while mounting, presoaking specimens, as well as the effect of orifice size and the duration of flow were studied. These studies revealed that pretensioning of the specimens had the largest effect on the porosity results. The second most significant factor was the time elapsed between the initiation of flow and the measurement of porosity. The significance of these variations in porosity in the clinical setting are also discussed.
water porosity, porosity testing, vascular prostheses