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  • Radial Artery Access Complications: Prevention, Diagnosis and Management


    The transradial approach for cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography, and percutaneous intervention is associated with a lower risk of access site-related complications compared to the transfemoral approach. However, with increasing utilization of transradial access for not only coronary procedures but also peripheral vascular procedures, healthcare personnel are more likely to encounter radial access site complications, which can be associated with morbidity and mortality. There is significant heterogeneity in the reporting of incidence, manifestations, and management of radial access site complications, at least partly due to vague presentation and under-diagnosis. Therefore, physicians performing procedures via transradial access should be aware of possible complications and remain vigilant to prevent their occurrence. Intraprocedural complications of transradial access procedures, which include spasm, catheter kinking, and arterial dissection or perforation, may lead to patient discomfort, increased procedure time, and a higher rate of access site cross over. Post-procedural complications such as radial artery occlusion, hematoma, pseudoaneurysm, arteriovenous fistula, or nerve injury could lead to patient discomfort and limb dysfunction. When radial access site complications occur, comprehensive evaluation and prompt treatment is necessary to reduce long-term consequences. In this report, we review the incidence, clinical factors, and management strategies for radial access site complications associated with cardiac catheterization.

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