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Int J Cardiol. 2005 Jun 8;101(3):421-7.

Anatomical consideration of the radial artery for transradial coronary procedures: arterial diameter, branching anomaly and vessel tortuosity.

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Department of Cardiology, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, South Korea.



The radial artery is currently regarded as a useful vascular access site for coronary procedures. Adequate anatomical information of the radial artery should be helpful in performing the transradial coronary procedure. Therefore, we tried to evaluate the size of radial artery, the incidence and clinical significance of anomalous branching patterns and tortuosity of the radial artery related with transradial coronary procedure.


In 1191 cases, mean radial arterial diameter (RAD) was measured before and after the procedure using a two-dimensional ultrasound and retrograde radial artery angiography was performed before the transradial coronary procedure in all patients. Branching anomaly, tortuosity of the radial artery and procedural characteristics including procedure times and local vascular complications were analyzed.


The mean RAD was 2.60 +/- 0.41 mm by two-dimensional ultrasound: 2.69 +/- 0.40 mm in men and 2.43 +/- 0.38 mm in women (p < 0.001). Radial artery occlusion occurred in 0.6% in coronary angiography and 1.4% in coronary intervention. In multivariate analysis, coronary intervention was significantly related to the radial artery occlusion (p = 0.048). Anomalous branching of upper extremity artery was found in 38 cases (3.2%); high origin of the radial artery was most frequent in 28 cases (2.4%). Tortuosity of radial and brachial artery was found in 67 of 50 cases (4.2%). Most common forms of tortuosity were S-shape in 21 cases (31.3%) and Omega-shape in 21 cases (31.3%). And most common site of radial artery tortuosity was proximal third of antecubital fossa (35 cases, 52.2%). Prolonged procedure times and cross-overs to other arteries were related with tortuosity of the radial artery, but not with anomalous branching.


In our study, radial artery diameter was larger than the outer diameter of 5Fr sheath in 82.7% for transradial coronary procedure. Radial artery occlusion was associated with coronary intervention using larger size sheath than diagnostic angiography using 5Fr sheath. The incidence in branching anomaly and tortuosity of radial artery was not rare in our study. Radial artery tortuosity was associated with old age and prolonged procedure time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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