Technique Is More Challenging But Bleeding Complications Lower, No Increase in Mortality
Las Vegas, Nev. — Even when treating critically ill heart attack patients, interventional cardiologists are increasingly adopting a safer—though more technically challenging—procedure for threading balloon-tipped catheters and stents into the heart. According to a study reported this week at the SCAI 2014 Scientific Sessions, use of the radial artery in the wrist as the access point for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is growing steadily in heart attack patients and results in significantly fewer bleeding complications and no increase in mortality.
Radial-artery access is an alternative to use of the femoral artery in the groin, the traditional approach. It has been found to reduce bleeding complications, andbe more comfortable for patients and reduce costs; however, it may be more time-consuming and requires additional physician training.