ISC 2020 Session: “Transradial Approaches for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease: The End of Femoral Artery Complications?”
International Stroke Conference
February 19–21, 2020
Kat Dakay, DO
Use of the transradial technique as an alternative to traditional femoral access in neuroendovascular procedures has increased substantially over the last few years after studies have demonstrated its advantages and lower risk of access site complications.
However, there is a learning curve that one must traverse when adopting the transradial approach. This year, the International Stroke Conference dedicated a symposium to a multifaceted discussion about the benefits, challenges, and potential complications unique to transradial access.
The session was moderated by Dr. Tudor Jovin and Dr. Nathan Manning, and speakers included Dr. Michael Levitt, Dr. Eric Peterson, Dr. Marios Psychogios, and Dr. Brian Snelling. Some major topics discussed:
1. Why go radial?
There are several reasons to consider utilizing the transradial approach. Dr. Peterson discussed one major reason, patient preference — with a transradial approach, there is no need for patients to lay flat postoperatively, which can make even small tasks like using the restroom awkward and cumbersome. Increased awareness of the transradial method by the general public has led to increasing patient requests to use this approach. Anecdotally, as a fellow explaining and obtaining consent for diagnostic angiograms, many patients have said to me, “I really hope you can use my hand instead of the leg.” As the popularity of transradial access in both cardiology and neuroendovascular procedures grows, this is likely to become more common. Objectively, one study demonstrated that 24/25 patients who underwent prior transfemoral cerebral angiography and subsequently underwent transradial angiography preferred the radial method. Another reason Dr. Peterson discussed is that in patients with obesity or significant arch tortuosity, transfemoral access can prove challenging and the radial approach may be easier in selected cases. Lastly, and probably the most compelling and important reason, which both Dr. Peterson and Dr. Levitt discussed, is that it is safer. Multiple cardiology trials have demonstrated that transradial procedures are safer than transfemoral procedures with an overall lower risk of major complications and mortality.[1, 3]