[Comparative study of radial and cubital arterial catheterization]

L C García-Fages, C Gomar Sancho, A Villalonga, M Pacheco García, M A Nalda
Revista Española de Anestesiología y Reanimación 1991, 38 (4): 268-70
In this prospective study we evaluated catheterization of the cubital artery as an alternative to cannulation of the radial artery. Seventy six surgical patients were randomly allocated into two groups of 38 patients according to the intention to catheterize the cubital or the radial artery. The incidence of failure and the technical difficulties were significantly higher in cubital than in radial arterial catheterization (p less than 0.001 and p less than 0.05, respectively) and they were related to the cubital pulse palpation. There were no significant differences in the time elapsed to achieve the catheterization, time of stability of the catheter, nor in the incidence of complications. The qualification of the technician, the arterial blood pressure and the anatomic characteristics of the forearm did not influence the results. We conclude that whenever the cubital arterial pulse is appropriately perceived, catheterization of this artery is a good alternative to radial catheterization.

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