OBJECTIVES: The study sought to define patient, operator, and institutional factors associated with transradial access (TRA) in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the variation in use across operators and institutions, and the relationship with mortality and bleeding.
BACKGROUND: TRA for PCI in STEMI is underutilized. Factors associated with TRA are not well described, nor is there variation across operators and institutions or their relationship with outcomes.
METHODS: The authors used hierarchical logistic regression to identify patient, operator, and institutional characteristics associated with TRA use as well as determine the variation in TRA for STEMI PCI from 2009 to 2015. They also described the relationship between operator- and institution-level use and risk-adjusted bleeding and mortality.
RESULTS: Among 692,433 patients undergoing STEMI PCI, 12% (n = 82,618) utilized TRA. TRA increased from 2% to 23% from 2009 to 2015, but with significant geographic variation. Age, sex, cardiogenic shock, cardiac arrest, operators entering practice before 2012, and nonacademically affiliated institutions were associated with lower rates of TRA. There was significant operator and institutional variation, wherein identical patients would have >8-fold difference in odds of TRA for STEMI PCI by changing operators (median odds ratio: 8.7), and >5-fold difference by changing institutions (median odds ratio: 5.1). Greater TRA use across operators was associated with reduced bleeding (rho = −0.053), whereas TRA use across institutions was associated with reduced mortality (rho = −0.077).
CONCLUSIONS: Transradial access for STEMI PCI is increasing, but remains underutilized with significant geographic, operator, and institutional variation. These findings suggest an ongoing opportunity to standardize STEMI care.