Selection of hardware and cathlab preparation for transradial approach

Urmil Shah
Indian Heart Journal 2010, 62 (3): 267-72
The percutaneous transradial approach for cardiac catheterization has been shown to be a safe alternative to femoral artery approach, owing to the favorable anatomical relation of the radial artery to surrounding structures and the dual blood supply to the hand. Selection of guide catheter is elementary but an issue of extreme importance in performance of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and depends on the size of aorta, location of ostia on the aorta, the kind of back-up required and whether the artery arises from a normal origin or anomalously. Currently a variety of guiding catheters are available, each with a unique design and construction, which has vastly improved the technique of transradial PCI. However, much of the cause for procedural failure of the radial approach is associated with the need for higher technical skills and the difficulty in using femoral catheters in the smaller radial artery. There is a learning curve, and many interventionists are uncomfortable attempting a more technically challenging procedure. Nevertheless, it is a procedure that can be taught, and with the innovation of new catheters and devices made specifically for radial approach, it may become easier to adopt for interventionists with a sound knowledge of the anatomical considerations and skill on guiding catheters and hardwares. The current article provides a vivid insight on the various aspects of the learning curve for Transradial approach including proper patient selection, radial access assessment, troubleshooting arm vessel anomalies, guide catheter selection and engagement, augmentation of guide support, and adjunctive device selection.

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