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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 15;109(6):813-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Meta-analysis of ten trials on the effectiveness of the radial versus the femoral approach in primary percutaneous coronary intervention.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital/McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The radial approach in primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been recently assessed in both randomized and observational studies. However, observational studies have several biases that favor the radial approach. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to compare the clinical outcomes of radial and femoral approach in primary PCI for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The outcomes of interest included death, major bleeding, vascular complications/hematoma, and procedure time. The data were pooled using random-effects models. Ten randomized controlled trials involving 3,347 patients met our inclusion criteria. The radial approach was associated with improved survival (odds ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval 0.33-0.84) and reduced vascular complications/hematoma (odds ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.24-0.53). A nonsignificant trend was found toward reduced major bleeding with the radial approach (odds ratio 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.35-1.12). The procedural time with the radial approach was longer by < 2 minutes (mean difference 1.76 minutes, 95% confidence interval 0.59-2.92). In conclusion, in patients undergoing primary PCI, the radial approach is associated with lower short-term mortality. When feasible, the radial approach should be the favored route in primary PCI.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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