Background Radial access has become popular among neurointerventionalists because it has favorable risk profiles compared with femoral access. Difficulties in accessing or navigating the radial artery have been viewed as a reason to convert to femoral access, but ulnar artery access may prevent complications associated with transfemoral procedures.
Objective To evaluate the safety and feasibility of ulnar access for neurointerventions and diagnostic neuroangiographic procedures.
Methods Consecutive patients who underwent diagnostic angiography or neurointerventional procedures via ulnar access between July 1, 2019 and April 15, 2020 were included. Data recorded were demographics, procedure indication, devices, technique, and complications. Descriptive analysis was performed.
Results Ulnar artery access was obtained for 21 procedures in 18 patients (mean age 70.3±7.8 years; nine men). Procedures included 13 diagnostic angiograms and eight neurointerventions (3 left middle meningeal artery embolization, 1 of which was aborted; 2 carotid artery stenting; 2 angioplasty; 1 mechanical thrombectomy for in-stent thrombosis). A right-sided approach with ultrasound guidance was used for all cases except one. Indications included small caliber radial artery (n=9), radial artery occlusion (n=10), and radial artery preservation for potential bypass (n=2). A 5-French slender sheath was used for diagnostic angiography; a 6-French slender sheath was used for neurointerventions. No case required conversion to femoral access. Two patients had minor hematomas after the procedure; one other had ulnar artery occlusion on 30-day ultrasonography.
Conclusion Ulnar access is safe and feasible for diagnostic and interventional neuroangiographic procedures. It provides a useful alternative to radial access, potentially avoiding complications associated with femoral access.
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Contributors Conception and design: RHD, JMD, MW. Acquisition of the data: all authors. Analysis and interpretation of the data: all authors. Drafting the manuscript: RHD, MW. Critically revising the manuscript: all authors. Reviewed submitted version of manuscript: all authors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests EIL: shareholder/ownership interests: NeXtGen Biologics, RAPID Medical, Claret Medical, Cognition Medical, Imperative Care (formerly the Stroke Project), Rebound Therapeutics, StimMed, Three Rivers Medical; national principal investigator/steering committees: Medtronic (merged with Covidien Neurovascular) SWIFT Prime and SWIFT Direct Trials; honoraria: Medtronic (training and lectures); consultant: Claret Medical, GLG Consulting, Guidepoint Global, Imperative Care, Medtronic, Rebound, StimMed; advisory board: Stryker (AIS Clinical Advisory Board), NeXtGen Biologics, MEDX, Cognition Medical, Endostream Medical; site principal investigator: CONFIDENCE study (MicroVention), STRATIS Study—Sub I (Medtronic). AHS: financial interest/investor/stock options/ownership: Adona Medical, Inc, Amnis Therapeutics (purchased by Boston Scientific October 2017), Blink TBI Inc., Buffalo Technology Partners Inc., Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc., Cognition Medical, Endostream Medical Ltd., Imperative Care, International Medical Distribution Partners, Neurovascular Diagnostics Inc., Q’Apel Medical Inc, Rebound Therapeutics Corp. (purchased 2019 by Integra Lifesciences, Corp), Rist Neurovascular Inc., Sense Diagnostics, Inc., Serenity Medical Inc., Silk Road Medical, Spinnaker Medical, Inc., StimMed, Synchron, Three Rivers Medical Inc., Vastrax, LLC, VICIS, Inc., Viseon Inc; consultant/advisory board: Amnis Therapeutics, Boston Scientific, Canon Medical Systems USA Inc., Cerebrotech Medical Systems Inc., Cerenovus, Corindus Inc., Endostream Medical Ltd., Imperative Care, Inc. Integra LifeSciences Corp., Medtronic, MicroVention, Minnetronix Neuro, Inc., Northwest University–DSMB chair for HEAT Trial, Penumbra, Q’Apel Medical Inc., Rapid Medical, Rebound Therapeutics Corp. (purchased by Integra LifeSciences Corp.), Serenity Medical Inc., Silk Road Medical, StimMed, Stryker, Three Rivers Medical, Inc., VasSol, W.L. Gore & Associates; principal investigator/steering committee for the following trials: Cerenovus NAPA and ARISE II; Medtronic SWIFT PRIME and SWIFT DIRECT; MicroVention FRED & CONFIDENCE; MUSC POSITIVE; and Penumbra 3D Separator, COMPASS, INVEST, TIGER.JMD: research grant: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number KL2TR001413 to the University at Buffalo. Consulting: Medtronic; honoraria: Neurotrauma Science, LLC; shareholder/ownership interests: Cerebrotech, RIST Neurovascular.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the University at Buffalo institutional review board, STUDY00003451. Written consent was obtained from patients or their family members before procedures were performed.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.