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Radial artery variations in patients undergoing transradial heart catheterization

I. Dimitrova, A. Iliev, B. Landzhov


Nowadays, the transradial cardiac catheterization is performed regularly. This is a result of the lower incidence of complications in comparison to the femoral approach. The positive characteristics of the transradial approach are due to the fact that the radial artery is located just beneath the skin and is easy to access for hemostasis. This way, the common complications of hematoma, pseudoaneurysm and arteriovenous fistulas of the femoral ap­proach could be avoided. Moreover, if the above complications occur during the transradial approach, surgery is not needed and the treatment is usually non-operative. The other advantage of the transradial approach is dou­ble blood irrigation of the hand, which prevents hand ischemia after radial artery thrombosis or spasm. Although the transradial approach has the advantage of reduced local complications, it is associated with specific techni­cal challenges and has a relatively high incidence of catheterization failure. Commonly, the procedure challenges are due to a failure to puncture the artery, anatomic variations of the radial artery and radial artery spasm. The anatomical variations are the second most frequent factor impeding transradial catheterization. Therefore, the precise anatomical information about the variations of the radial artery should be kept in mind and the knowl­edge of interventional cardiologists will be helpful in performing the transradial coronary procedure during left heart catheterization.

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About The Authors

I. Dimitrova
Medical University of Sofia

A. Iliev
Medical University of Sofia

B. Landzhov
Medical University of Sofia

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