Aims: This study aimed to compare outcomes in unselected patients undergoing cardiac catheterisation via transradial versus transfemoral access and standard versus ultrasound-guided arterial access.
Methods and results: This was a prospective, randomised (radial vs. femoral and standard vs. ultrasound), 2x2 factorial trial of 1,388 patients undergoing coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention. The primary outcome was a composite of ACUITY (Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage strategY) major bleeding, MACE (death, stroke, myocardial infarction or urgent target lesion revascularisation) and vascular complications at 30 days. Transradial access reduced the primary outcome (RR 0.37, 95% CI: 0.17-0.81; p=0.013), mostly driven by ACUITY major bleeding (RR 0.343, 95% CI: 0.123-0.959; p=0.041) when compared with the transfemoral approach. There was no difference in the primary outcome between standard and ultrasound guidance (p=0.76). Ultrasound guidance, however, reduced mean access time (93 sec vs. 111 sec; p=0.009), attempts (1.47 vs. 1.9; p<0.0001), difficult accesses (4.5% vs. 9.2%; p=0.0007), venepuncture (4.1% vs. 9.2%; p<0.0001) and improved first-pass success (73% vs. 59.7%; p<0.0001).
Conclusions: Transradial access significantly reduced the composite outcome compared to transfemoral access. Ultrasound guidance did not reduce the primary outcome compared to the standard technique, but significantly improved the efficiency and overall success rate of arterial access.