background: reuse of dental and medical devices is a worldwide common practice, and our country is not an exception; its aim is to reduce procedural costs. ptca insufflation devices (or manometers) are frequently re-sterilized for clinical reuse purposes. evaluations of their physical and mechanical properties are not described in current literature. objective: determine if the physical and functional characteristics of insufflation devices are maintained after reuse processing, as well as establish their life span. methods: this was a prospective longitudinal study, carried out at university hospital in porto alegre, rs, brazil. from november 2007 to march 2008, all new insufflation devices were included and separated in two different groups: group a devices were evaluated immediately after their first use and group b devices were evaluated after subsequent uses. results: of the 36 devices, 11 (30.6%) were discarded after the first use due to severe mechanical or functional problems. of the remaining devices, only 8 (32%) in group a and 6 (24%) in group b kept totally preserved functionality. these devices presented significant changes, even though they were mild, in measurements after 12 atm. mean reuse rate was 1.7 ± 1.2 times. conclusions: results showed that about 30% of ptca insufflation devices were not in working conditions after the first use. only a quarter of the remaining devices maintained intact functional characteristics to the end of their life span.