Purpose: To evaluate the use of 4 Fr radial artery catheters as an alternative to both transbrachial and transfemoral approaches.
Methods: Seventy examinations were performed via the transradial route using 4 Fr 130-cm-long pigtail catheters. Prior to puncture the radial artery was assessed with pulse oximetry to ensure that it did not contribute the dominant blood supply to the hand. Patients were reassessed for complications within 24 hr of the procedure.
Results: Acceptable images were obtained in femoral arteriography, arch aortography, and selective carotid studies. In three of six renal arteriograms, images were suboptimal. There was a total technical failure rate of 5.7%. Significant complications were encountered in 4.3%, but no hand ischemia occurred.
Conclusion: The transradial route for arteriography is easy to learn and has a low complication rate. It is a reasonable alternative approach to transfemoral arteriography for true outpatient peripheral angiography and in cases where the transfemoral route is not feasible, though it did not prove satisfactory for renal arteriography in hypertensive patients.