Design and Rationale of Routine UltrasouNd GuIdance for Vascular AccEss foR Cardiac Procedures: A Randomized TriaL (UNIVERSAL) Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Background

    A significant limitation of femoral artery access for cardiac interventions is the increased risk of vascular complications and bleeding compared to radial access. Ultrasound (US)-guided femoral access may reduce major vascular complications and bleeding. We aim to determine whether routinely using US guidance for femoral arterial access for coronary angiography or intervention will reduce Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) 2, 3, or 5 bleeding or major vascular complications.


    The Ultrasound Guidance for Vascular Access for Cardiac Procedures: A Randomized Trial (UNIVERSAL) is a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomized trial with blinded outcomes assessment. Patients undergoing coronary angiography with or without intervention via a femoral approach with fluoroscopic guidance will be randomized 1:1 to US-guided femoral access, compared to no US. The primary outcome is the composite of major bleeding based on the BARC 2, 3, or 5 criteria or major vascular complications within 30 days. The trial is designed to have 80% power and a 2-sided alpha level of 5% to detect a 50% relative risk reduction for the primary outcome based on a control event rate of 14%.


    We completed enrollment on April 29, 2022, with 621 randomized patients. The patients had a mean age of 71 years (25.4% female), with a high rate of comorbidities, as follows: 45% had a prior percutaneous coronary intervention; 57% had previous coronary artery bypass surgery; and 18% had peripheral vascular disease.


    The UNIVERSAL trial will be one of the largest randomized trials of US-guided femoral access and has the potential to change guidelines and increase US uptake for coronary procedures worldwide.

publication date

  • December 2022