Percutaneous ulnar artery approach for primary coronary angioplasty: safety and feasibility

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2004 Jan;61(1):56-9. doi: 10.1002/ccd.10671.


Transradial approach in primary and rescue angioplasty may be advantageous with respect to the femoral access due to the lower incidence of vascular complications. Ulnar cannulation has been proposed for elective procedures in patients not suitable for transradial approach. We here report on 13 patients undergoing primary angioplasty performed using the transulnar approach. Ulnar access was finally obtained in 10 patients, sheath insertion time ranged from 2 to 5 min, time from arterial puncture to vessel recanalization ranged from 21 to 36 min. Primary angioplasty was successful in all patients. At 30-day echo color Doppler, all ulnar arteries were patent and with a physiologic pattern of flow. Subcutaneous hemorrhage of the forearm was observed in two patients, whereas hematoma, pseudoaneurysm, thrombus, and arterovenous fistula were not observed. In conclusion, transulnar access may represent an additional option in patients undergoing primary angioplasty when the radial artery access site is not available.

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / methods*
  • Humans
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulnar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulnar Artery / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography