Background The transradial approach for cardiac catheterization is associated with improved patient safety and satisfaction in comparison with the transfemoral approach. Prospective data for the transradial approach for cerebral arteriography are lacking.
Objective To carry out a prospective study of consecutive patients undergoing transradial cerebral arteriography at our institution to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and limitations of this approach.
Methods Consecutive patients referred for diagnostic cerebral arteriography at an institution with minimal transradial experience were enrolled until 50 right transradial diagnostic cerebral arteriograms were obtained. A procedural staging system was developed and goals of angiography were defined before each procedure. The primary outcome was the ability to achieve the predefined goals using the transradial approach. Secondary outcomes included the technical ability to access and inject each supra-aortic artery of interest and the incidence of complications.
Results A total of 65 patients were screened; 15 were excluded owing to contraindications and 50 underwent attempted right transradial cerebral arteriography. The primary outcome was achieved in 44 patients (88%). Failures occurred at stage 1 (n=3, 6%), stage 2 (n=1, 2%), stage 3a (n=1, 2%), and stage 3b (n=1, 2%). Crossover to the transfemoral approach occurred in four patients (8%) and the procedure was terminated in two patients (4%). All supra-aortic arteries of interest were accessed and injected, with success rates between 89% and 100% with the exception of the left vertebral artery (successful in 59%). There were no major complications and five minor complications.
Conclusion Neurointerventionalists attempting the transradial approach can expect to achieve moderate early success and a low complication rate.
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