Over the recent years, there has been increased interest in the use of transradial (TR) access for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), including rotational atherectomy (RA). However, a large proportion of operators seem to be reluctant to use TR access for complex PCI including rotational atherectomy for heavily calcified coronary lesions.
We searched MEDLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov and the Cochrane Library for studies comparing radial versus femoral access in patients undergoing RA. Studies were included if they reported at least one of the following outcomes in each group separately: major adverse cardiac events (MACE), major bleeding, stent thrombosis, myocardial infarction (MI), hospital length of stay, radiation exposure, procedure time, procedure success and all-cause mortality. Odds ratio (OR) or mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated and a p-value of <0.05 was considered as a level of significance.
This meta-analysis included 5 retrospective studies with 3315 patients undergoing RA via radial access and 5838 patients via femoral access. Radial access was associated with lower major access site bleeding (OR: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.31–0.67, p < 0.001), and radiation exposure (MD: −16.1, 95%CI: −25.4–−6.7 Gy cm2, p = 0.0007). There were no significant differences observed in all-cause in-hospital mortality (OR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.69–1.23, p = 0.58); MACE (OR: 0.80, CI: 0.63, 1.02, p = 0.08), stent thrombosis (OR: 0.28, 95%CI: 0.06–1.33 p = 0.11); and MI (OR: 0.43, 95%CI: 0.15–1.24, p = 0.12). There were no significant differences in hospital stay, procedure time or procedure success between the two groups (p > 0.05).
This meta-analysis of 9153 patients from observational studies demonstrates similar all-cause mortality, MACE, procedural success and procedural time during RA performed using TR access and TF access. However, TR access was associated with decreased access site bleeding and radiation exposure. Given the observational nature of these findings, a randomized controlled trial is warranted for further evidence.