Impact of anticoagulation and vasoactive medication on regained radial artery patency after catheterization: a case–control study



Radial artery access is the primary approach for coronary interventions due to higher safety profile in comparison to femoral access. Radial artery occlusion (RAO) is the main complication of transradial catheterization that can lead to severe symptoms and a permanent artery occlusion. The incidence of RAO after transradial access ranges from 5 to 38% and data regarding treatment is scarce. Whether anticoagulation and vasoactive medication provides an additional benefit in recovery of radial artery patency (RAP) after catheterization has not been investigated in detail.


The objective was to investigate the impact of anticoagulation and vasoactive medication on regained patency after documented RAO following transradial catheterization.


Overall 2635 patients were screened. 2215 (84%) catheterizations were performed by femoral and 420 (16%) by radial access. In 30 patients RAO was observed. In case of RAO patients were classified in three groups: Anticoagulation, anticoagulation added with alprostadil and controls. Follow-up was conducted after 3 months with ultrasound and clinical examination.


Eight patients received anticoagulation and 11 patients anticoagulation together with alprostadil. Eleven patients served as controls. Recovery of RAP after catheterization was higher following either treatment (79.5%) compared to controls (0%, p = 0.006). Subgroup analysis yielded a higher RAP recovery in patients treated with anticoagulation (62.5%) as compared to controls (0%, p = 0.002). No effect on regained RAP was found with additional alprostadil therapy (33.3%) compared to anticoagulation therapy (62.5%, p = 0.229).


RAO should be treated with anticoagulation to regain patency. Addition of vasoactive medication does not lead to further beneficial effects. Further research is needed regarding preventive and therapeutic strategies following RAO.

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Rammos C, Burghardt A, Lortz J, et al. Eur J Med Res 2018;23:25.