Background: Distal transradial access in the anatomical snuffbox has advantages over standard access in terms of patient and operator comfort levels and risk of ischemia. Radial artery preservation could be a relevant issue in patients requiring multiple radial artery procedures and coronary bypass with the use of a radial graft. One relevant drawback is the challenging puncture of a small and weak artery, with a steeper learning curve.
Aim: The study was aimed at proving feasibility and safety of right and left transradial access in the anatomical snuffbox.
Methods: All 52 consecutive patients assigned to only one operator program underwent diagnostic or procedural intervention through distal transradial access in the anatomical snuffbox.
Results: The overall feasibility was 90%, greater than expected in our early clinical experience, with 47 successful accesses out of 52 patients. Failures were due to proximal radial artery occlusion and hypoplastic/vasospastic distal radial artery.
Conclusion: Distal transradial access in the anatomical snuffbox is an appealing and feasible option for both patients and operators. Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical benefits conferred by this approach.