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Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1994 Mar;31(3):165-72.

Peripheral vascular complications of coronary angioplasty by the femoral and brachial techniques.

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Cardiovascular Laboratory, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, NY 13203.


In order to monitor the incidence and types of peripheral vascular complications in a single institution, we prospectively entered 1,579 coronary angioplasty cases into a computer data base during the years 1991 and 1992. Various periprocedural risk factors were analyzed. The patients were followed closely to identify complications that occurred outside the laboratory or after discharge from the hospital. Peripheral vascular complications occurred in 37 patients (2.37%) and included hematoma 20 (1.27%), retroperitoneal bleeding 7 (.44%), false aneurysm 6 (.38%), occlusion 1 (.06%), infection 2 (.13%), and cholesterol emboli 1 (.06%). Risk factors for complications by multivariate analysis were older age, female gender, and clinical evidence of peripheral vascular disease. Other factors potentially related to vascular trauma or bleeding tendency that were not risk factors in this series were clinical presentation, use of heparin or thrombolytic agents, blood clotting parameters, and arterial sheath size. There was no significant difference between the femoral and brachial approaches in frequency of complications (2.5% vs. 1.6%), but femoral complications tended to carry greater morbidity.

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