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Accessing the coronary arteries via the radial artery in the wrist reduced bleeding and other complications compared with femoral artery access in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a randomized trial found.

The 30-day rate of bleeding and access site complications -- defined as a hematoma 15 cm or greater -- was 1.4 percent versus 7.2 percent for radial and femoral access, respectively (P=0.0001), said Ivo Bernat, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital Pilsen in the Czech Republic.

The radial access had better results in just about every bleeding and access site category including gastrointestinal bleeds, hemoglobin drop ≥3 g/dL with clinically overt signs, hematoma ≥15 cm, transfusion, and vascular complications, Bernat reported here at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual meeting.

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