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J Invasive Cardiol. 2005 Dec;17(12):651-4.

Safety and efficacy of the percutaneous radial artery approach for coronary angiography and angioplasty in the elderly.

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Ospedale Civile Maggiore, p. le Stefani, Verona, 1 37126, Italy.



The transradial approach to coronary interventions has been accepted as a safe and effective alternative to the femoral approach due to fewer access site complications and improved patient comfort. In the present study we aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of transradial procedure in the elderly.


We analyzed 850 patients who underwent transradial coronary angiography and/or angioplasty. All patients were divided into two groups, according to age. The first group consisted of patients < 70 years (600; 70.5%) and the second group consisted of patients greater than or equal to 70 years (250; 29.5%).


Baseline characteristics did not differ between the two groups, except for diabetes mellitus which affected more patients greater than or equal to 70 years of age. Procedure duration, X-ray time and number of catheters used were similar in the two groups. No deaths or acute myocardial infarctions occurred. There were some vascular complications in both groups, with no statistically significant difference between groups. In Group 2 (the older group) 2 TIAs and 1 stroke occurred, whereas in Group 1, there was 1 TIA (p = 0.08).


From our experience, we conclude that the transradial catheterization is a safe and effective technique in the elderly, with a reduced risk of local vascular complications and a noteworthy increase in patient comfort, especially in view of the age-related diseases that frequently affect older patients.

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