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Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 1998 Feb;91(2):209-15.

[Coronary angiography by a radial artery approach: feasibility, learning curve. One operator's experience].

[Article in French]

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Service de cardiologie, hôpital Gilles-de-Corbeil, Corbeil-Essonnes.


The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the radial artery approach for coronary angiography in a standard population of presumed coronary patients and to continue the assessment for a sufficiently long period of time to perfect the technique, evaluate the learning curve and prepare a randomised comparison with the femoral approach. The radial artery was used for coronary angiography in 800 patients after exclusion of about 25% of patients, mainly because of a negative Allen's maneuver. With the exception of acute myocardial infarction, there was no selection based on symptoms and transradial catheterisation was attempted irrespective of age, sex, weight or height. The representative nature of the study population was confirmed by the results of the procedure (normal: 20%, single vessel disease: 30%, double vessel disease: 26%, triple vessel disease: 18% and left main disease: 5.4%). The right radial artery was used in 94% of cases. Successful radial puncture/catheterisation was obtained in 97% of cases: 100% of left coronary arteries and 99% of right coronary arteries were catheterised, the left ventricle in 98% of cases, the internal mammary arteries in 100%, and venous bypass grafts in 95%. The average duration of the whole procedure was 19 +/- 9 minutes. This decreased regularly with operator experience and judicious choice of catheters. The best choice seemed to be a single catheter for both coronary arteries, either an Amplatz or a Champ catheter. There were two probably avoidable coronary complications and two transient neurological events but no clinically significant vascular complication. The radial artery seemed to be a good approach for routine coronary angiography and may now be compared with the femoral approach. It should help expand the practice of ambulatory coronary angiography.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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