Transradial versus transfemoral access for anterior circulation mechanical thrombectomy: analysis of 375 consecutive cases

Objective

To compare transradial artery access (TRA) to the gold standard of transfemoral artery access (TFA) in mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for stroke caused by anterior circulation large vessel occlusion.

Methods

The clinical outcomes, procedural speed, angiographic efficacy and safety of both techniques were analysed in 375 consecutive cases over an 18-month period in a high volume statewide neurointerventional service.

Results

There was no significant difference in patient characteristics, stroke parameters, imaging techniques or intracranial techniques. The median time elapsed between CT scanning and reperfusion was 96.5 min (IQR 68–123) in the TFA group and 95 min (IQR 68–123) in the TRA group (p=0.456). Of 336 patients who were independent at presentation 58% (124/214) of the TFA group and 67% (82/122) of the TRA group had a modified Rankin score of 0–2 at 90-day follow-up (p=0.093). Cross-over from radial to femoral was 4.6% (4/130) compared with 1.6% cross-over from femoral to radial (4/245), but did not meet the predetermined level of statistical significance (OR 2.92, 95% CI 0.81 to 10.52), p=0.088) and did not impact median procedural speed. Adequate angiographic reperfusion, first pass reperfusion, embolisation to new territory and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage were similar in both groups. There was a significant difference in major access site complications requiring an additional procedure. None of the TRA cases had a major access site complication but 6.5% (16/245) of the TFA cases did (p=0.003).

Conclusion

This study suggests that using TRA for anterior circulation MT is fast, efficacious, safe and not inferior to the gold standard of TFA.

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