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Coll Antropol. 2008 Jun;32(2):385-90.

Access site complications following cardiac catheterization assessed by duplex ultrasonography.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Disease, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.


Access site complications are major source of morbidity following cardiac catheterization. Their incidence varies in the literature because of multiple definitions and methods of determining the presence of particular complication. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the incidence of access site complications following cardiac catheterization using arterial duplex ultrasonography. A total of 319 consecutive patients, who had cardiac catheterization underwent femoral artery duplex study 24 to 48 hours following manual hemostasis. Diagnostic angiogram had 232 (71.8%) while 87 (28.2%) had percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Femoral artery duplex ultrasound was normal in 247 (77.4%). Haematoma was found in 48 (15.1%), pseudoaneurysm in 17 (5.3%), AV fistula in 2 (0.6%) and dissection of the femoral artery in 5 (1.6%) patients. Baseline demografic characteristics were similar in group with normal duplex study and group with detected complication. Pseudoaneurysm and AV fistula were more commonly observed in patients following PCI than diagnostic angiogram (9.2% vs. 4.7%, p<0.001). Patients with documented complications more frequently had concomitant administration of antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication compared to the patients without complications (p=0.003). Hemodynamic disturbances (hypotension and bradycardia) during manual compression were more frequent in patients with complication (11% vs. 4.5%, p=0.047). Low threshold for use of duplex ultrasound should be exercised in patients following cardiac catheterization to establish the presence of access site complications. Special attention is needed in the setting of aggressive antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, interventional procedures and hemodynamic disturbances during manual hemostas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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