Transradial percutaneous coronary interventions: technique, materials & procedure in the light of anatomical and technical considerations

Johannes B Dahm, Frank van Buuren
Indian Heart Journal 2010, 62 (3): 214-7
Transradial access is associated with enhanced patients' comfort, significant lower complication rates in diagnostic coronary angiography and better immediate and long-term outcomes after transradial percutaneous coronary interventions. Access failure has been reported to occur in less than 3-7% of cases due to anatomical circumstances (e.g., anomalous radial branching patterns, tortuosity e.g. radial loops, and small radial artery diameters). Radial coronary angiography and angioplasty entail a secondary learning curve of at least 150 cases in order to become familiar and comfortable with this technique. In contrast to previous established techniques (e.g. Sones-arteriotomy), the patient should be positioned in a comfortable supine position with his right arm next to his hip and the interventionist next to the right side of the patient. 19 gauge needles and 0.018 inch wires enhance the chance of successful cannulation the radial artery. A spasmolytic cocktail (3 mg Dinitrate, 3 mg verapamil, at least 3.000 U Heparine) should always be given intraarterially. Longer sheaths (> 13 cm) are not necessary. Essential for easy passage of the vertebralian artery and the common brachio-cephalic trunc (as the most dangerous part of the procedure) in order to reach the ascending aorta, the patient should be asked for a deep inspiration and/or dorsoflexion of his head An Amplatz-II catheter can be used for LCA, RCA and in some cases for LV-angiogram. The sheath should always be removed immediately and hemostasis achieved by radial compression (e.g. clamp). There is a close relationship between access failure respective radial spasm or occlusions and anatomical circumstances (i.e., hypoplastic radial artery, radioulnar loop, or small radial diameters: radial diameter-to-catheter ration < 1.0; assessment by Duplex). Although the radial access can be used in the majority of patients, the use is limited in patients with very small radial diameters and/or with complex lesions (e.g kissing balloon, etc).

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