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Perceptions of advantages and barriers to radial-access percutaneous coronary intervention in VA cardiac catheterization laboratories.

Helfrich CD, Tsai TT, Rao SV, Lemon JM, Eugenio EC, Vidovich MI, Shroff AR, Speiser BS, Bryson CL. Perceptions of advantages and barriers to radial-access percutaneous coronary intervention in VA cardiac catheterization laboratories. Cardiovascular revascularization medicine : including molecular interventions. 2014 Sep 1; 15(6-7):329-33.

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BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Compared with trans-femoral percutaneous coronary intervention (TFI), trans-radial PCI (TRI) has a lower risk of bleeding, access site complications and hospital costs, and is preferred by patients. However, TRI accounts for a minority of PCIs in the US, and there is currently little research that explores why. METHODS/MATERIAL: We conducted a national survey in February 2013 to assess perceptions of TRI vs. TFI, and barriers to TRI adoption and implementation among interventional cardiologists employed by the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and linked these data to site-level TRI annual rates for 2013. RESULTS: We received 78 completed surveys (32% response rate). Respondents at sites that perform few or no TRIs identified increased radiation exposure as the greatest barrier while at sites that perform a high percentage of TRIs respondents identified the steep learning curve as the greatest barrier. Majorities of survey respondents at all sites rated TRI as superior on 5 of 7 criteria, including patient comfort and bleeding complications, but rated TFI as superior on procedure time and procedure success. CONCLUSIONS: Even interventional cardiologists at sites that perform few or any TRIs recognized the superiority of TRI for patient comfort and safety, but rated it inferior to TFI on procedure time and technical results. Interventional cardiologists at high-TRI labs rated TRI as equivalent on procedure time and technical results. Efforts to increase TRI adoption and implementation may be more successful if they emphasize that procedure times and technical results depend on achieving proficiency.

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