Navigating radial artery loops in neurointerventions

J Neurointerv Surg. 2021 Nov;13(11):1027-1031. doi: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016856. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Background: Although studies continue to demonstrate lower complications in neurointerventions using transradial access (TRA) compared with transfemoral approaches, anatomic radial variants can be difficult to navigate and remain one of the frequent causes of access site conversion.

Objective: To evaluate predictors of TRA failure in neuroendovascular patients with radial loops and suggest a protocol for managing these anomalies.

Methods: A prospective collection of patients undergoing TRA at participating institutions from July 2018 to September 2020 was reviewed. Patients with a radial loop were identified. Patient demographics and procedural characteristics were evaluated to determine predictors of both TRA failure and successful reduction of the radial loop.

Results: We identified 32 transradial neurointerventions in which patients had radial loops. Twenty-two (68.8%) were identified by diagnostic angiography, and the majority were performed for evaluation or treatment of an aneurysm (56.3%). TRA failure occurred in 13 (40.6%) of the cohort and happened more frequently in patients over 60 years of age (p=0.01) and those with recurrent radial artery diameters ≤2 mm (p=0.02). Of the 19 patients who had successful TRA, 12 (63.2%) procedures were performed through the recurrent radial artery.

Conclusion: Although radial loops are associated with high transradial failure rates, our results suggest that the presence of a loop is not an absolute contraindication to TRA. Therefore, we recommend attempting loop navigation using our protocol. Patient age, vascular tortuosity, and recurrent radial artery size should help dictate when to convert to an alternative access site.

Keywords: aneurysm; angiography; intervention; navigation; technique.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiography*
  • Femoral Artery
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radial Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Radial Artery* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies