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Original research
Maturing institutional experience with the transradial approach for diagnostic cerebral arteriography: overcoming the learning curve


Background Despite growing interest in the transradial approach for neurovascular procedures, prospective data about the learning curve for neurointerventionalists adopting this approach are limited.

Methods A subsequent prospective series of 50 consecutive right transradial diagnostic cerebral arteriograms was compared with our initial institutional experience using a procedural staging system. The primary outcome was the ability to achieve the predefined procedural goals using the radial approach. Secondary outcomes included the technical ability to access and inject each supraaortic artery of interest and the incidence of complications.

Results The primary outcome was achieved in 49 patients (98%) compared with 88% in the initial series (p=0.05). One stage 2 failure (2%) occurred. Crossover to the transfemoral approach occurred in one patient (2%) compared with 8% in the initial series (p=0.16). All supraaortic arteries of interest were accessed and injected with success rates between 93% and 100%. There were no major complications and two minor complications.

Conclusion Neurointerventionalists can overcome the right transradial learning curve and achieve high success rates and low crossover rates after performing 30–50 cases.

  • transradial
  • radial artery
  • diagnostic cerebral angiography technique
  • learning curve

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