In the largest randomized trial to compare radial access and femoral access for coronary angiography and intervention, researchers found radial access reduced rates of vascular complications, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2011 Scientific Session in New Orleans. The trial also found that radial access did not reduce the primary outcome measure of death, heart attack, stroke and non-CABG-related major bleeding compared to femoral access in the overall study population. The data showed these outcomes were equal for both femoral and radial access procedures.
"Interventional cardiologists can feel reassured both radial and femoral approaches are safe and effective," said Sanjit Jolly, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Radial access did lead to reductions in the primary outcome measure in patients who underwent the procedure at hospitals that conducted a high volume of radial procedures. For centers that were less experienced with radial access, Jolly said it was clear there is a learning curve, and operators got better and faster with radial procedures with more experience. "The take-home message is practice makes perfect," he said. Jolly explained the high-volume centers using radial access performed very well, but it was clear from the study operators need a lot of radial cases to increase performance. To read more, visit www.dicardiology.net/article/rival-trial-radial-access-reduces-vascular-complications