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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1998 Sep;32(3):572-6.

Stenting in acute coronary syndromes: a comparison of radial versus femoral access sites.

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Wake Heart Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.



The purpose of the present study was to compare the radial approach with the femoral approach for coronary stenting in patients with acute coronary syndromes.


Aggressive anticoagulation in patients with acute coronary syndromes increases the risk of femoral vascular complications. The transradial approach has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of access site bleeding complications in this group of patients.


One hundred forty-two patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing coronary stenting were prospectively randomized to have their procedure performed from either the radial or femoral access site and the results compared.


Nine of 74 patients randomized to the radial group crossed over to the femoral group (6 negative Allen tests, 3 access failures). Patient demographics were the same in both groups. Primary success was identical: 96% radial, 96% femoral, ns. There were no procedural myocardial infarctions or deaths, and no patient was referred for emergency bypass surgery. There were no access site bleeding complications in the radial group as opposed to 3 (4%) in the femoral group, p < 0.01. Postprocedure length of stay, days (1.4+/-0.2 radial vs. 2.3+/-0.4 femoral, p < 0.01) as well as total hospital length of stay (3.0+/-0.3 radial vs. 4.5+/-0.5 femoral, p < 0.01) were significantly reduced in the radial group. Total hospital charge was also significantly lower in the radial group ($20,476+/-811 radial versus $23,389+/-1,180 femoral, p < 0.01).


Coronary stenting from the radial approach is efficacious in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Access site bleeding complications are less, and early ambulation results in a shorter hospital length of stay. There was a 15% reduction in total hospital charge in the radial group.

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