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Cardiac catheterisation with 5 French catheters.
  1. J J O'Sullivan,
  2. K McDonald,
  3. P A Crean,
  4. M J Walsh,
  5. C McCarthy,
  6. R J Erwin,
  7. B J Maurer
  1. Department of Cardiology, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


    From the beginning of November 1987 to the end of January 1989, 526 coronary arteriograms and left ventricular angiograms were performed with 5 French coronary catheters. In 448 (85%) patients diagnostic pictures were obtained with three standard types of 5 French catheters (No 4 Judkins): that is, left coronary, right coronary, and pigtail catheters. In 60 patients (11.4%) various other 5 French catheters were required to complete the study. In nine patients (1.7%), a 7 or 8 French catheter was used. Major complications causing cardiac arrest or requiring urgent operation developed in five patients. Sixty two patients (11.77%) had minor complications that required sublingual nitrates or a single bolus of atropine, or developed a haematoma that did not need intervention or had a mild reaction to the contrast material. Complications of moderate severity developed in 17 patients (3.2%): severe chest pain, arrhythmia requiring a temporary pacemaker, contrast reaction associated with hypotension, haematoma requiring blood transfusion, or a transient ischaemic episode. There were no deaths. 5 French catheters were used for routine coronary angiography and left ventriculography in 98.3% of patients. There were no major complications related to femoral artery puncture. The routine use of 5 French coronary catheters should increase the feasibility of safe coronary angiography in outpatients and should reduce the cost of this investigation.

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