Radial access for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been shown to reduce mortality and vascular complications compared to femoral access in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. However, efficacy and safety of radial access PCI in non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE ACS) is not well understood. A systematic search of electronic databases was performed through July 2015 to search and identify relevant studies. We evaluated the following short-term outcomes: all-cause mortality, major bleeding, access site bleeding, and need for blood transfusions. In addition, we evaluated 1-year mortality. Studies were pooled using random effects model. Nine studies including a total of 220,126 patients (radial approach: 94,663 patients [43%], femoral approach: 125,463 patients [57%]) were included in the analysis. On pooled analysis, no significant difference in incidence of short-term all-cause mortality was found between radial and femoral access (odds ratio [OR] 0.78, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.07, p = 0.12). Radial access was associated with significant reduction in major bleeding (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.73, p = 0.0002), access-site bleeding (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.78, p = 0.007), and need for blood transfusions (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.91, p = 0.02). Furthermore, the 1-year mortality was significantly lower in radial approach (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.95, p = 0.02). In conclusion, in patients with non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome undergoing PCI, radial access is associated with decreased bleeding and access-site complications.
American Journal of Cardiology , Volume 117 , Issue 2 , 172 - 178