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Left Radial versus Right Radial Approach for Coronary Artery Catheterization

Background: Despite several advantages of the transradial over the transfemoral approach, the use of transradial access for coronary interventions in daily practice is still low. Major limitations are the technical and anatomical issues related with right radial artery access. The left radial approach may have an advantage from the point of view of the vascular anatomy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of routinely using the left radial compared to the right radial approach. Methods: This is a prospective single center study comparing left radial to right radial access for coronary artery catheterization. The overall in-hospital major adverse cardiac and cerebral events (MACCE), procedural success rate, bleeding, vascular and procedural complications, fluoroscopy time, number of catheters, and amount of contrast agent used were assessed. Results: A total of 1,032 coronary angiograms were performed: 420 were performed using the right radial artery and 612 the left radial artery. No differences were observed in MACCE and success rate between the two groups. No cases of major or minor bleeding and vascular complications requiring surgical intervention were reported. Fluoroscopy time and the number of catheters used were significantly less in the left radial group (P = 0.001 and P = 0.007, respectively), while the volume of contrast was similar (P = 0.264). Conclusions: The left radial approach in our series was demonstrated to be safe and feasible in daily practice, and in this study was associated with a reduction in fluoroscopy time and number of catheters used.

J Interv Cardiol. 2012 Jan 25