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Reperfusion times for radial versus femoral access in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention: observations from the Cardiac Care Network Provincial Primary PCI Registry


Background — Radial access is associated with less bleeding and vascular complications. However, it may delay reperfusion during primary percutaneous coronary intervention for ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction.

Methods and Results — A provincial database prospectively collected clinical and procedural characteristics for all urgent percutaneous coronary intervention procedures performed between June 2010 and September 2011 in Ontario for ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction, including time of arrival in the catheterization laboratory and time of first balloon inflation. After excluding patients with cardiogenic shock, with previous bypass surgery, or who received fibrinolysis, 2947 patients were included in the analysis. Propensity score matching was used to minimize difference in clinical characteristics between radial and femoral access procedures. Predictors of radial access included younger age and male sex. After propensity score matching, the median time from arrival in the cardiac catheterization laboratory to first balloon was 27 minutes (25th%–75th%, 21–34) for the femoral group and 30 minutes (25th%–75th%, 24–39) for the radial group (P<0.001). When hospitals were stratified based on the proportion of primary percutaneous coronary intervention cases that were performed using radial access, there was no difference in treatment times between radial and femoral access in the tercile of hospitals that used radial access most frequently. There were no significant differences in the rates of death or myocardial infarction at 30 days.

Conclusions — This contemporary multicenter registry demonstrates that the time to first balloon inflation is slightly longer with radial access than with femoral access, although the 3 minute difference is unlikely to be clinically relevant. There is no difference in treatment times at hospitals that frequently use radial access for primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Short-term mortality and reinfarction rates are similar with radial and femoral access.



Cantor WJ, Ko DT, Natarajan MK, Džavík V, Wijeysundera HC, Wang JT, Kingsbury KJ, Velianou JL, Cohen EA, Le May MR, Tu JV. Circ Cardiovasc Inter. 2015; 8:e002097.

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