Distal transradial access as default approach for coronary angiography and interventions

Marcos Danillo Peixoto Oliveira, Ednelson Cunha Navarro, Ferdinand Kiemeneij


Background: Distal transradial access (dTRA) as a refinement of the conventional transradial access has advantages in terms of patient and operator comfort and risk of radial artery (RA) occlusion. RA preservation with this new technique could be a relevant issue in patients requiring its future use. In turn, one relevant drawback is the more challenging puncture of a smaller artery. In order to evaluate the real world feasibility and safety of both right (rdTRA) and left (ldTRA) distal transradial access as default access site for routine coronary angiography (CAG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), this prospective observational registry was conducted.
Methods: From February to July 2019, 435 consecutive patients underwent CAG and/or PCI (620 procedures at all, by two experienced transradial operators) through rdTRA or ldTRA.
Results: Mean patient age was 62.4 years old. Most were male (66.0%). The majority (49.4%) of patients had an acute coronary syndrome; overall, 15.2% with ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI). Distal RA was successfully punctured in all patients, always without ultrasound guidance, with puncture and sheath insertion at until 2 attempts in the vast majority of patients. We had only 3.0% access site crossovers (successful arterial puncture but failed sheath insertion), mainly performed via the contralateral dTRA (53.8%). Successful dTRA sheath insertion was then achieved in 98.6% of all 435 patients. Redo ipsilateral dTRA was performed in 2.5% of patients. Distal and proximal RA pulses were palpable in all patients at hospital discharge. No major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events and no major complications were recorded.
Conclusions: dTRA as default approach for routine CAG and/or PCI by experienced transradial operators appears to be safe and feasible. Further randomized and larger trials are still needed to assure the clinical benefits and the safety of this new technique.