Right arm distal transradial (snuffbox) access for coronary catheterization: Initial experience

Hellenic J Cardiol. Mar-Apr 2020;61(2):106-109. doi: 10.1016/j.hjc.2018.10.008. Epub 2018 Oct 30.


Background: Distal transradial access (dTRA) by the snuffbox approach for coronary catheterization has emerged as an alternative to the classic forearm TRA with certain advantages and limitations.The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the dTRA exclusively from the right arm.

Methods: Forty-nine consecutive patients (31 males and 18 females, mean age 64 ± 12 years), who were candidates for coronary catheterization in two cath laboratory centers, regardless of the indication, were recruited. Right dTRA was exclusively used. Radial artery patency both at the forearm and at the snuffbox region was evaluated 24 h after successful hemostasis by triplex ultrasonography. All complications were recorded until 24 h after the procedure.

Results: The indication for catheterization was an acute coronary syndrome in 24.5%, stable coronary artery disease in 22.4%, and other reasons in 53.1%. The overall failure attempt incidence was 10.2% and the mean puncture time 3.9 ± 4.1 min. Angiography only was performed in 81.8% and angiography followed by percutaneous coronary intervention in 18.2% of the patients. Manual hemostasis was applied in 63.6% of the patients, which had a significantly shorter duration than device hemostasis (11 ± 7 versus 198 ± 42 min, p < 0.001). No distal or forearm radial artery occlusion was observed on triplex ultrasonography 24 h after successful hemostasis. No major complications were recorded.

Conclusions: This two-center study, utilizing exclusively the right dTRA, provides further data regarding the snuffbox approach in an all-comers population. Further worldwide reports will elucidate new aspects of the technique.

Keywords: Angiography; Angioplasty; Distal radial; Snuffbox; Transradial.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arm
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Catheterization, Peripheral*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*
  • Radial Artery*