A new approach to common cardiac procedures called transradial angiography might lead to reduced patient complications and recovery time, as well as lower hospital costs. Cardiologists at the University of Illinois and Jesse Brown VA medical centers are among the first in the Chicago area to offer the approach to heart angiograms and clearing blocked arteries.
In the procedure, a catheter is threaded through the small radial artery in the wrist rather than the larger femoral artery in the groin. “It’s a simple change that has a dramatic impact on the experience and recovery of the patient,” said Dr. Adhir Shroff, assistant professor of cardiology at UIC.
Although complications from standard catheterization through the groin are low, occurring in only 2 - 9 percent of patients, the transradial approach can reduce bleeding – the most common complication, particularly among women and the elderly – to under one percent. It also eliminates much of the discomfort associated with the procedure.