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Heart Views. 2019 Oct-Dec;20(4):152-157. doi: 10.4103/HEARTVIEWS.HEARTVIEWS_96_18. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Transulnar versus Transradial Access as a Default Strategy for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.

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Department of Cardiology, JLN Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.



Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) are undergoing a paradigm shift from femoral to forearm approach due to obvious advantages in terms of patient safety, comfort, and faster ambulation. Transradial access (TRA) has been established as a primary forearm access site. Use of transulnar access (TUA) as an alternative to radial route can serve as novel forearm access to the interventionalists.


The aim of this study is to evaluate TUA versus TRA access as a default strategy for PCI.

Materials and Methods:

This was a prospective, single-center randomized controlled trial involving 2700 patients, of whom 220 underwent PCI in 1:1 randomization to TUA (n = 110) or TRA (n = 110). The primary endpoint was composite of major adverse cardiac events during hospital stay, cross-over to another arterial site, major vascular events of the arm during hospital stay (large hematoma with hemoglobin drop of ≥5 g%) and occlusion rate. Secondary endpoints were individual components of primary endpoint and spasm of the vessel.


Two groups did not differ in baseline characteristics. On intention to treat (ITT) analysis, primary end point occurred in 10.91% of TUA and 12.73% of TRA arm (odds ratio [OR]: 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-1.91; P = 0.68 at α = 0.05). Further on per protocol (PP) analysis, primary end point occurred in 9.21% of TUA and 11.11% of TRA arm (OR: 0.81; 95% CI, 0.29-2.30; P = 0.68 at α = 0.05). Secondary endpoints also did not differ significantly between the two groups in ITT and PP analysis.


TUA is an excellent alternative to TRA, while performing PCI when performed by an experienced operator. When utilized as an option, TUA increases the chance of success with forearm access and reduces the need for cross over to femoral route.


Percutaneous coronary intervention; transradial access; transulnar acsess

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