Objective: Although a transradial angiography is accepted as the gold standard for cardiovascular procedures, cerebral angiography has been performed via transfemoral approach in most institutions. The purpose of this study is to present our experience concerning the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of a transradial approach to cerebral angiography as an alternative to a transfemoral approach.
Methods: Between February 2007 and October 2009, a total of 1,240 cerebral angiographies were performed via a transradial approach in a single center. The right radial approach was used as an initial access route. The procedure continued only after the ulnar artery was proven to provide satisfactory collateral perfusion according to two tests (a modified Allen's test and forearm angiography).
Results: The procedural success rate was 94.8% with a mean duration of 28 minutes. All supra-aortic vessels were successfully catheterized with a success rate of 100%. The success rates of selective catheterization to the right vertebral artery, right internal carotid artery, left internal carotid artery, and left vertebral artery were 96.1%, 98.6%, 82.6% and 52.2%, respectively. The procedure was performed more than twice in 73 patients (5.9%), including up to 4 times in 2 patients. The radial artery occlusion was found in 4 patients (5.4%) on follow-up cerebral angiography, but no ischemic symptoms were observed in any of the cases.
Conclusion: This study suggests that cerebral angiography using a transradial approach can be performed with minimal risk of morbidity. In particular, this procedure might be useful for follow-up angiographies and place less stress on patients.
Keywords: Angiography; Cerebral angiography; Follow-up; Radial artery.