Distal Versus Traditional Radial Approach for Coronary Angiography

Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2019 Aug;20(8):678-680. doi: 10.1016/j.carrev.2018.09.018. Epub 2018 Oct 2.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of distal radial (DR) versus traditional radial (TR) approach during coronary angiography.

Methods: Two hundred patients scheduled to undergo transradial coronary angiography were randomized between the two approaches. Primary endpoint of the study was switching to another access site due to inability of successful target artery cannulation. Secondary endpoints were time to cannulation, total procedure duration, number of attempts, number of skin punctures and duration of manual hemostasis. Secondary safety endpoints were the rate of moderate or severe spasm, arm hematoma EASY class III or more and radial artery occlusion at discharge. Quality of life endpoint was the patient's preference of cannulation method at 30 days.

Results: The primary endpoint was met in 30 patients (30%) from the DR group and 2 patients (2%) from the TR group (p < 0.001). The time of cannulation was longer in the DR group compared to the TR group (269 ± 251 s vs 140 ± 161 s, p < 0.001), but this did not affect the total procedural duration (925 ± 896 s vs 831 ± 424 s, p = 0.494). The number of attempts and the number of skin punctures were more in the DR group compared to the TR group (6.8 ± 6.2 vs 3.4 ± 4.5, p < 0.001 and 2.4 ± 1.7 vs 1.6 ± 1.2, p < 0.001, respectively). However, DR treated patients had faster manual hemostasis time compared to TR treated patients (568 ± 462 s vs 841 ± 574 s, p = 0.002). There were no differences recorded in the safety endpoints of moderate or severe spasm, EASY grade III or more radial hematomas or the incidence of radial artery occlusion after the procedure. Patients' preference to the randomized puncture sites was the same (79% vs 85%, p = 0.358).

Conclusion: Distal radial approach is associated with lower successful cannulation rates and shorter manual hemostasis time compared to the traditional radial approach.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / epidemiology
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods*
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Hematoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Preference
  • Punctures
  • Radial Artery* / injuries
  • Radial Artery* / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular System Injuries / epidemiology
  • Vascular System Injuries / physiopathology
  • Vasoconstriction