Radial artery access for angiography has matured over the past two decades and is now the preferred point of access for most patients. Lower bleeding rates in clinical randomized trials have translated into lower mortality prompting change in the guidelines. Advances in technique with use of ultrasound for access to properly size the sheath, proper dosing of anticoagulation and new techniques for sheath removal have dramatically lowered radial artery occlusion rates. Radial artery spasm has improved with vasodilators and proper sedation. Advances in support boards and sheath extension have opened up left radial access. Advances in lower profile sheaths and sheathless systems allow larger catheters in smaller arteries. Advances in longer balloons and sheaths have opened up radial access for peripheral interventions. Areas of clinical research include use of ulnar artery compared to radial, left versus right radial access, use of radial artery for a surgical conduit after angiography, radiation exposure and advantage of radial approach in the elderly.
Part of the book: Interventional Treatment for Structural Heart Disease