In 1999, we noted the development of inflammation and/or abscesses at the site of radial access in a group of patients. Over a 3-year period, we noted this inflammation in 33 patients out of 2,038 (1.6%) who had catheterization via the radial approach. The radial abscesses occurred in 30 patients out of 1,063 (2.8%) in whom we could confirm the use of a hydrophilic-coated sheath, but in no patient for whom we can document that an uncoated sheath was used. No infectious agent could be implicated, and the time course for the development of the abscess, typically 2 to 3 weeks, seemed long for a bacterial infection. Later patients had biopsies, and granulomatous reactions were seen in most. Additionally, a few of the biopsies showed an amorphous extravascular substance consistent with the catheter coating. All patients had good long-term outcomes.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.