Radial artery cannulation guided by Doppler ultrasound

J J Maher, J M Dougherty
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 1989, 7 (3): 260-2
A technique to enhance difficult percutaneous radial artery cannulations using Doppler ultrasound is described. A series of 12 patients (nine hypotensive and three normotensive patients with poorly palpable or absent radial pulses) was assembled and the radial arteries were cannulated using standard intravenous catheters and a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device. Localization and cannulation of the arteries was facilitated by noting the characteristic sounds using the Doppler. Eleven of the 12 patients had successful cannulation of the radial artery. In one case the artery was localized but the catheter could not be advanced. No complications were encountered. It was concluded that the use of a common Doppler ultrasound on selected patients with poor peripheral pulses may facilitate percutaneous radial artery cannulations and minimize the number of catheter punctures before successful placement.

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