Ultrasound Guidance in Femoral Artery Catheterization: A Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
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BACKGROUND: During percutaneous cardiac procedures, the use of radial access is growing, but femoral access remains needed for large-bore, high-risk procedures. Methods are needed to make femoral access safer. In this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials (RCTs), we assess whether ultrasound guidance is associated with a decreased risk of vascular complications during femoral artery catheterization. METHODS: Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central were searched from inception to April 2018. RCTs assessing the use of ultrasound among adult patients undergoing a femoral artery catheterization were included. The primary outcome was vascular-access related complications. Secondary outcomes included major and minor vascular access bleeding, success rate, venipuncture, number of attempts, and successful placement into the common femoral artery. RESULTS: Five RCTs (n = 1553) met the inclusion criteria, with two trials using blinded outcome assessment. Ultrasound use was associated with a reduction in the rate of vascular-access related complications (1.9% vs 4.3%; odds ratio [OR], 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24-0.81; P<.01). This was primarily driven by a reduction in local hematomas; once hematomas were excluded, the association was no longer significant (0.6% vs 1.7%; OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.15-1.07; P=.07). There was no significant reduction in major bleeding (0.3% vs 1.3%; OR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.07-0.1.16; P=.08) or minor bleeding (1.4% vs 2.8%; OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.24-1.05; P=.07). CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound guidance during femoral artery catheterization is associated with a decreased risk of vascular complications, primarily driven by a reduction in local hematomas. Larger trials are needed to determine the effect of ultrasound on major bleeding and vascular complications (excluding hematomas).