Background Trans-radial access for neuro-endovascular procedures has gained popularity in recent years, driven in part by social media. The approach was adopted and modified from that used by interventional cardiology. This study analyzes Twitter conversations regarding this topic using the popular hashtag #RadialFirst.
Materials and Methods Twitter was evaluated for public content pertaining to all trans-radial access. We conducted a mixed-method analysis that includes a quantitative examination of all social media metrics (no. of tweets, mentions, retweets, locations, word count) and a qualitative evaluation of tweets for thematic analysis.
Results Between January 2013 and February 2020, there were 100,531 tweets from 100 countries using the hashtag #RadialFirst. These tweets had an overall impression of 218 million and were retweeted 75,000 times by 13,103 users. More than 60% of tweets carried media materials (e.g. wrist image, angiographic runs) but only 14% of tweets had a link to an article. USA (17%) and the UK (4.2%) had the highest numbers of tweets. Physicians authored 84% of the tweets and interventional cardiologists accounted for 94% of the top 100 influencers for the hashtag. Tweets showed steady increase in numbers over time and coincided later with the appearance of a new hashtag for neuro-intervention, #RadialForNeuro. Five prominent themes emerged from the coded data: sharing cases, providing operative tips, requesting information, highlighting adverse events, and tweets related to commercial endorsements.
Conclusion This study is the first to provide insight into Twitter communications regarding trans-radial access. These findings highlight the impact of Twitter in disseminating the technique, and the role of social media in education and refinement of technical approaches.
Disclosures N. Alotaibi: None. P. Harker: None. F. Robertson: None. J. Vranic: None. M. Koch: None. C. Stapleton: None. T. Leslie-Mazwi: None. A. Patel: None.