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Radial Access to Revolutionize Field of Peripheral Artery Interventions

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Oct 2023
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Image: Radial access for peripheral artery interventions has shown to be associated with favorable safety profiles (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: Radial access for peripheral artery interventions has shown to be associated with favorable safety profiles (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Peripheral artery interventions like angioplasty and stenting are generally carried out to treat vascular conditions causing blood flow obstruction to the lower extremities. These procedures are usually done by gaining access through the femoral artery located in the thigh. However, there is growing interest in a different method that involves accessing the arteries in the wrist or forearm, known as radial access. Now, a new study has demonstrated that radial access for peripheral artery interventions can lead to favorable safety outcomes.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from University Hospitals (Cleveland, OH, USA), focused on the safety and practicality of using radial access for complex vascular interventions in the lower limbs. The study involved 120 patients across eight U.S. centers from June 2020 to June 2021. The average age of the participants was roughly 69, and nearly 32% were women. The study addressed various types of vascular lesions, primarily in femoro-popliteal and iliac vessels. Out of the patients, 112 (or 93.3%) met the primary effectiveness goals. Only one patient needed to switch to femoral access to complete the treatment. Additionally, 30 patients needed one or more extra access points for successful treatment, including femoral, tibial, and pedal sites. No severe side effects were linked to the procedure. The average time for the procedure was 74 minutes, and the average time until the patient could walk was about 3 and a half hours. On the same day, 93.3% of patients were discharged. After 30 days, nearly all patients showed ultrasound-confirmed radial artery openness.

The study's findings indicate that radial access for peripheral artery procedures offers encouraging safety benefits. Specifically, the rate of complications at the access site and major adverse cardiovascular events was noticeably lower than with the traditional femoral approach. The research also showed similar success rates and long-term health outcomes for both methods. Radial access appears to be a reliable and safe alternative for these types of vascular interventions. According to the researchers, opting for the wrist or forearm offers several advantages over the usual femoral route, such as greater patient comfort, fewer bleeding issues, and quicker recovery time. To validate these results, more extensive research and clinical trials are needed to make radial access a standard practice in this medical field.

“This study contributes to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of radial access for peripheral artery interventions,” said Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, president of University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute and lead author of the study. “As medical professionals continue to explore different approaches, advances in technology and techniques are expected to further enhance the safety and efficacy of these procedures. With its potential to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, radial access may revolutionize the field of peripheral artery interventions.”

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