Role of superficial femoral artery puncture in the development of pseudoaneurysm and arteriovenous fistula complicating percutaneous transfemoral cardiac catheterization

Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1992 Feb;25(2):91-7. doi: 10.1002/ccd.1810250203.


Of 13,203 transfemoral diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization procedures performed between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1990, 73 (0.55%) were complicated by pseudoaneurysm (PA) formation, and 15 (0.11%) by arteriovenous fistulas (AVF). The rate of PA increased progressively from 0.44% (1980-1987), to 0.59% (1987-1989), to 0.92% (1990), with no corresponding change in the incidence of AVF. The rising incidence of PA complicating transfemoral cardiac catheterization was associated closely with the use of larger diameter catheters and aggressive antiocoagulation during coronary interventions, but findings during surgical repair suggested that puncture of the superficial femoral (SFA), rather than the common femoral artery (CFA), was an important avoidable cause of some PA and AVF. A technique for fluoroscopic localization of the puncture site to avoid inadvertent SFA puncture and the associated increased risk of complication is proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aneurysm / surgery
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / surgery
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Femoral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Artery / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors