DOI: 10.3390/jcm12165382 ISSN:

Right Heart Catheterization: An Antecubital Vein Approach to Reduce Fluoroscopy Time, Radiation Dose, and Guidewires Need

Giuseppe Locatelli, Luca Donisi, Luca Mircoli, Federico Colombo, Lucia Barbieri, Gabriele Tumminello, Stefano Carugo, Massimiliano Ruscica, Marco Vicenzi
  • General Medicine

Antecubital access for right heart catheterization (RHC) is a widespread technique, even though there is a need to clarify if there are differences and significant advantages compared to proximal vein access. To pursue this issue, we retrospectively identified patients who underwent RHC in our clinic over a 7 year period (between January 2015 and December 2022). We revised demographic, anthropometric, and procedural data, including the fluoroscopy time, the radiation exposure, and the use of guidewires. The presence of any complications was also assessed. In patients with antecubital access, the fluoroscopy time and the radiation exposure were lower compared to proximal vein access (6 vs. 3 min, mean difference of 2 min, CI 95% 1–4 min, p < 0.001 and 61 vs. 30 cGy/m2, mean difference 64 cGy/m2, CI 95% 50–77, p < 0.001). The number of patients requiring the use of at least one guidewire was lower in the group undergoing RHC through antecubital access compared to proximal vein access (55% vs. 43%, p = 0.01). The feasibility was optimal, as just 0.9% of procedures switched from antecubital to femoral access, with a negligible rate of complications. The choice of the antecubital site exhibits advantages, e.g., a shorter fluoroscopy time, a reduced radiation dose, and a lower average number of guidewires used compared to proximal vein access.

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