Transradial versus transfemoral access for cardiac catheterization: a nationwide pilot study of training preferences and expertise in The United States

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2021 May 21;21(1):250. doi: 10.1186/s12872-021-02068-5.


Background: The objective was to assess current training preferences, expertise, and comfort with transfemoral access (TFA) and transradial access (TRA) amongst cardiovascular training fellows and teaching faculty in the United States. As TRA continues to dominate the field of interventional cardiology, there is a concern that trainees may become less proficient with the femoral approach.

Methods: A detailed questionnaire was sent out to academic General Cardiovascular and Interventional Cardiology training programs in the United States. Responses were sought from fellows-in-training and faculty regarding preferences and practice of TFA and TRA. Answers were analyzed for significant differences between trainees and trainers.

Results: A total of 125 respondents (75 fellows-in-training and 50 faculty) completed and returned the survey. The average grade of comfort for TFA, on a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being most comfortable), was reported to be 6 by fellows-in-training and 10 by teaching faculty (p < 0.001). TRA was the first preference in 95% of the fellows-in-training compared to 69% of teaching faculty (p 0.001). While 62% of fellows believed that they would receive the same level of training as their trainers by the time they graduate, only 35% of their trainers believed so (p 0.004).

Conclusion: The shift from TFA to radial first has resulted in significant concern among cardiovascular fellows-in training and the faculty regarding training in TFA. Cardiovascular training programs must be cognizant of this issue and should devise methods to assure optimal training of fellows in gaining TFA and managing femoral access-related complications.

Keywords: Campeau radial paradox; Femoral access; Radial access; Radial first.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Cardiology / education*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Femoral Artery*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / education
  • Pilot Projects
  • Punctures
  • Radial Artery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States