Background: Transradial access is a recently developed alternative for diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Its effects on quality of life after the procedure, patient preference, and cost are unknown.
Methods and results: We performed a randomized single-center trial in which 99 patients underwent transfemoral and 101 underwent transradial diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Quality of life was measured with the SF-36 and visual analog scales at baseline, 1 day, and 1 week. Patients were examined at 1 day and at 1 week after for complications. Costs were measured prospectively. One patient in the femoral group and 2 in the radial group crossed over to the alternative access site. There were no major access site complications. One patient in the transfemoral group had a minor stroke. Transradial catheterization significantly reduced median length of stay (3.6 vs 10.4 hours, P <.0001). Over the first day after the procedure, measures of bodily pain, back pain, and walking ability favored the transradial group (P <.05 for all comparisons). Over the week after the procedure, changes in role limitations caused by physical health, bodily pain, and back pain favored the transradial group (P <.05 for all comparisons). There was a strong patient preference for transradial catheterization as well (P <. 0001). Transradial catheterization led to significant reductions in bed, pharmacy, and total hospital costs ($2010 vs $2299, P <.0001).
Conclusions: Among patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization, transradial access leads to improved quality of life after the procedure, is strongly preferred by patients, and reduces hospital costs.