Balloon-assisted tracking: a must-know technique to overcome difficult anatomy during transradial approach

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2014 Feb;83(2):211-20. doi: 10.1002/ccd.24959. Epub 2013 May 9.


Objective: To examine the use and outcomes of balloon-assisted tracking (BAT) technique for dealing with complexities of arm and chest vasculature during transradial approach (TRA) at a single high volume radial center.

Background: TRA has been used for coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) around the world. Different techniques have been described to address the anatomical issues and tortuosities for successful completion of coronary angiography and PCI. This study describes the use of BAT technique and associated outcomes during real world clinical practice.

Methods: Subjects comprised 63 patients, (out of total 8,245 patients between January 2011 and December 2012) in whom we encountered significantly complex anatomical course in radial, brachial, or subclavian region, leading to difficult advancement of a diagnostic or a guide catheter despite trying all standard maneuvers. In all of them BAT technique was used and they were retrospectively analyzed for the purpose of this study.

Results: About 63 (0.76%) of 8,245 patients met the study criteria. Twenty-five (39.7%) patients had very small RA. Twenty-two (34.9%) had severe RA tortuosity. Four (6.3%) had complex RA loops. Six (9.5%) had severe RA spasm and six (9.5%) had severe subclavian tortuosity and/or stenosis. We encountered technical failure in three (4.8%) patients (two had very small RA and one had 360 degree RA loop).

Conclusion: BAT technique was useful to address the anatomical issues and tortuosities of radial, brachial, and subclavian vasculature during TRA.

Keywords: balloon-assisted tracking; coronary angiography; coronary intervention; radial artery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / adverse effects
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / instrumentation
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / methods*
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / instrumentation
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods*
  • Coronary Angiography / adverse effects
  • Coronary Angiography / instrumentation
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Hospitals, High-Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / complications*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Punctures
  • Radial Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subclavian Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Access Devices