Bleeding Complications After PCI and the Role of Transradial Access.
OPINION STATEMENT: Bleeding events are the most common complications following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and are associated with increases in short- and long-term mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, hospital length of stay, and hospital cost. Over time, there has been a decrease in periprocedural bleeding, primarily due to improvements in antithrombotic therapy; however, transradial (TR) catheterization has been shown to be an important strategy to minimize access site bleeding and potentially improve outcomes among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The rate of TR catheterization has been increasing significantly over the past few years and now accounts for an increasing proportion of procedures performed in the United States. Results from the recently published RIVAL Trial have shown comparable efficacy between transradial and transfemoral (TF) approaches with significant reduction in vascular access complications in the TR group. TR access in the STEMI population was prospectively assessed in the RIFLE-STEACS Trial and demonstrated significant reduction in the primary outcome of composite death/MI/stroke/target vessel revascularization/non-CABG bleeding. More recent studies have also demonstrated cost savings with TR access, related primarily to decreased hospital length of stay. While previous studies have shown increased operator radiation exposure compared to a TF approach, the most recent data suggest no significant difference in radiation at higher volume centers.
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