BALTIMORE, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As interventional cardiologists increasingly perform angiography or angioplasty and stent procedures via radial (wrist) access versus femoral (groin or upper leg) access, it will be imperative to develop training and competency guidelines, according to the first report from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention's (SCAI) Transradial Working Group released today at the SCAI 2011 Scientific Sessions and published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. The report reviews issues such as patient selection and preparation, artery access, catheter and therapy selection, primary PCI, potential complications and training for intervention cardiologists performing procedures via radial access.
Radial access is quite common around the world, though it still remains relatively unused in the United States. Recent research, including the RIVAL Trial presented at the 2011 American College of Cardiology (ACC) 60th Annual Scientific Sessions, has shown radial access is a safe and effective technique, can increase survival for heart attack patients, and is often preferred by patients over femoral access. However, published guidelines for the procedure and training are not yet available.
"Data increasingly show that the radial technique, which many patients find more comfortable, is also safe and effective," said Ronald P. Caputo, M.D., FSCAI, the report's lead author and Director of Cardiac Services, St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, NY. "As this technique is used more frequently in the United States, we want to ensure it is used safely and appropriately."
The report recommends training focused on three levels of competency based on the individual interventional cardiologist's level of experience with simple and complex cases, including patients with challenging anatomy. The authors emphasize that interventional cardiology trainees should develop equal competency in both fe