Effect of Radial Versus Femoral Access on Radiation Dose and the Importance of Procedural Volume
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OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to compare the radiation dose between radial and femoral access. BACKGROUND: Small trials have shown an increase in the radiation dose with radial compared with femoral access, but many were performed during the operators' learning curve of radial access. METHODS: Patients were randomized to radial or femoral access, as a part of the RIVAL (RadIal Vs. femorAL) trial (N = 7,021). Fluoroscopy time was prospectively collected in 5740 patients and radiation dose quantified as air kerma in 1,445 patients and dose-area product (DAP) in 2,255 patients. RESULTS: Median fluoroscopy time was higher with radial versus femoral access (9.3 vs. 8.0 min, p < 0.001). Median air kerma was nominally higher with radial versus femoral access (1,046 vs. 930 mGy, respectively, p = 0.051). Median DAP was not different between radial and femoral access (52.8 Gy-cm(2) vs. 51.2 Gy·cm(2), p = 0.83). When results are stratified according to procedural volume, air kerma was increased only in the lowest tertile of radial volume centers (low 1,425 vs. 1,045 mGy, p = 0.002; middle 987 vs. 958 mGy, p = 0.597; high 652 vs. 621 mGy, p = 0.403, interaction p = 0.026). Multivariable regression showed procedural volume was the greatest independent predictor of lower air kerma dose (ratio of geometric means 0.55; 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 0.61 for highest-volume radial centers). CONCLUSIONS: Radiation dose as measured by air kerma was nominally higher with radial versus femoral access, but differences were present only in lower-volume centers and operators. High-volume centers have the lowest radiation dose irrespective of which access site approach that they use. (A Trial of Trans-radial Versus Trans-femoral Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Access Site Approach in Patients With Unstable Angina or Myocardial Infarction Managed With an Invasive Strategy [RIVAL]; NCT01014273).
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