Left radial approach for coronary angiography: results of a prospective study

Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1996 Dec;39(4):365-70. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0304(199612)39:4<365::AID-CCD8>3.0.CO;2-B.


Although radial approach has been shown to be feasible for coronary angiography, angioplasty, and even stent placement, there have been no prospective evaluations of ease and safety of left radial approach for coronary angiogram. We examined procedural duration and success as well as complications in 415 consecutive patients. Radial artery occlusion was assessed immediately post-procedure and at 2 month follow-up using echo-Doppler measurements. Procedure failure rate was 9%, mean time for sheath insertion was 4.7 +/- 4.7 min, and mean procedure duration was 19.1 +/- 8.2 min. No major complications occurred. Asymptomatic radial artery occlusion was noted in 71% of the first 49 patients, decreased to 24% in the next 119 receiving 2,000-3,000 units of heparin, and to 4.3% in the last 210 receiving 5000 (p < 0.05). Comparison with the femoral approach in the same laboratory suggested that the radial approach took longer, but provided similarly high-quality results without great difficulty in coronary cannulation. Hence, the left radial approach for coronary angiography (with heparin administration) allows immediate ambulation and may be especially useful for outpatients and when the femoral approach is not possible.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Coronary Angiography / adverse effects
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Angiography / statistics & numerical data
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Punctures / adverse effects
  • Punctures / instrumentation
  • Punctures / methods
  • Radial Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler


  • Heparin