Compared to the femoral approach, the use of radial arterial access has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of access site bleeding complications in staged procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical outcomes comparing radial and femoral approaches in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction with primary angioplasty and the GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor abciximab. Between 15 September 1999 and 15 September 2002, we prospectively enrolled 119 consecutive patients undergoing primary angioplasty with abciximab comparing radial (n = 64) and femoral (n = 55) access. In this nonrandomized study, freedom from major cardiac events at 1-month follow-up occurred in 62 (97%) and 52 (94.5%) patients in the radial and the femoral groups, respectively (P = 0.19). There were no major access site bleeding complications in the radial group, as opposed to three (5.5%) in the femoral group (P = 0.03), all requiring transfusions, with surgical repair necessary in two. Uncomplicated clinical course occurred in 62 (97%) of patients in the radial group and 49 (89%) in the femoral group (P = 0.04). Total hospital length of stay was significantly higher in the femoral group (5.9 +/- 2.1 vs. 4.5 +/- 1.2 days; P = 0.05). Cannulation time (from patient arrival at the catheterization laboratory to the effective placement of arterial sheath) and procedural time were not significantly different in the radial and the femoral group (respectively 8.5 +/- 5.2 vs. 9.0 +/- 5.8 min, P = 0.81, and 42 +/- 28 vs. 44 +/- 27 min, P = 0.74). Nevertheless, time of radiation (23.1 +/- 11 vs. 16.5 +/- 10.9 min; P = 0.01) and dose-area product (28,616 +/- 16,571 vs. 18,819 +/- 10,739 R. cm2; P = 0.01) were significantly higher in the radial group. In patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with primary angioplasty and abciximab, the transradial access is efficacious with fewer major access site complications than transfemoral access. Transradial approach produces a shorter length of stay, as compared to the transfemoral approach, although with longer times of radiation and higher dose-area product.
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