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Keywords:

  • radial artery size;
  • color Doppler;
  • transulnar;
  • ulnar artery size;
  • angioplasty

Objectives

To assess feasibility and utility of imaging of both arms using ultrasound to facilitate transradial (TR) and transulnar (TU) coronary angiograms (CA) and intervention.

Background

Despite well recognized advantages, transradial approach (TRA) has challenges that reduce procedural success including small arterial size, anatomical variations, and anomalies of radial artery (RA). The utility of routine pre-procedural ultrasound of the arm arteries (PPUAA) in facilitating TRA has not been previously studied.

Methods

To determine the role of PPUAA, we performed a single center registry of consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic and interventional procedures between 2006 and 2011. All patients underwent PPUAA of the right and left radial, ulnar (UA), as well as the brachial arteries (BA) in the antecubital fossa using a linear probe. End-points assessed included the incidence and correlates of arterial sizes, vascular anomalies, procedure success, and fluoroscopy as well as ultrasound assessment times. RA occlusion rates were studied in the last 10 months of the study period.

Results

Complete data on radial (mean 1.9 mm (male);1.7 mm (female)) and ulnar artery size (mean 1.8 mm (male); 1.6 mm (female)) and data on brachial branching anatomy were available in 2,344 patients; 1,872 of whom underwent a TR or TU procedure. The mean time to perform bilateral PPUAA was 6.4 min ± 1.8 min. The incidence of arterial abnormalities was 9.8% in PPUAA. Procedure success was 98.7% for CA and 97.5% for percutaneous coronary intervention. Outcomes were better in this cohort compared with remaining 3,781 patients in whom PPUAA data were not available.

Conclusion

This single center prospective registry shows that PPUAA is feasible, requires minimum time, and provides anatomical information that may improve procedure success while reducing patient discomfort, arterial spasm, and fluoroscopy time. These findings should be confirmed in a randomized trial. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.