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The radial approach for coronary angiography and stenting
  1. Wake Heart Associates
  2. 3000 New Bern Avenue, G100
  3. Raleigh, NC 27610, USA

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Remarkable technological advances have occurred in the field of interventional cardiology—for example, the development of smaller, dependable stent systems that can be delivered through 6 F guide catheters. As a result, the technique of transradial coronary stenting has evolved under the leadership of Keimeneij and others. Although the procedure has been adopted at numerous centres around the world, many cardiologists continue to question the utility of the procedure.


The superficial location of the radial artery allows easy haemostasis, and access site bleeding complications are virtually eliminated.1 ,2 Inexpensive mechanical compression devices safely obtain haemostasis, and personnel use is minimised. Patients are ambulatory immediately after the procedure and hospital length of stay is significantly reduced. Compared to the femoral approach, there is substantial economic benefit because of reduced vascular complications and shorter hospital stay.3-5

From the patient’s perspective, the most important benefit is a substantial reduction in morbidity. Rapid ambulation reduces back pain and the need for bedpans or indwelling bladder catheters. Recent improvements in the technique have decreased the pain of …

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