Radial access for percutaneous coronary procedure: relationship between operator expertise and complications


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate (1) whether the learning curve of new catheterization laboratory operators increases the incidence of complications of transradial access during percutaneous coronary interventions and (2) whether manual compression with a two-step approach is safe and efficient for radial access hemostasis.

METHODS: We performed a prospective study with all consecutive patients who underwent a coronary diagnostic or intervention procedure with radial access. The primary end point was a composite of pulseless radial artery of the wrist and hematoma evaluated after 24 hours. The secondary end point of efficacy was defined as the presence of bleeding or hematoma after 30 seconds.

RESULTS: From March 2016 to June 2016, 150 consecutive patients, of whom 147 underwent coronary angiography and/or percutaneous coronary intervention through radial access, were included in the present study. The primary end point was present in 33%, but pulseless radial artery of the wrist was present only in 5.3%. We found that the incidence of primary end point was statistically different according to the number of puncture attempts, with a cutoff of two punctures with blood. The secondary end point of safety was present only in 4.7% of the cases.

CONCLUSIONS: Radial access is feasible and safe even if performed by training physicians. Manual compression with early evaluation after 30 seconds is a safe technique for managing the radial access after sheath removal.

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Susanu S, Angelillis M, Giannini C, et al. Clin Exp Emerg Med 2018;5:95–9.