The feasibility of cardiac electrode catheter re-use was prospectively evaluated over a 5-year period (1981 to 1986), during which time 178 catheters were used 1,526 times for 847 electrophysiologic procedures. Detailed records of catheter testing and use were maintained. No complications were encountered during the study period. All re-used catheters functioned for cardiac pacing and electrographic recording. Surveillance cultures and biologic indicators revealed that adequate sterilization procedures were used. Thus, electrode catheters may be safely re-used provided a thorough cleaning, testing and record-keeping system is instituted. This may result in lower patient cost (approximately $30 per re-use vs $200 per single use) for electrophysiologic catheterization.