Radial Angiogram Vs Femoral Angiogram: When is it Done, its Pros & Cons

In the past five years a drastic rise in the ratio of radial access for PCI i.e. percutaneous coronary intervention has been observed for both emergency as well as elective class in North America and Europe. The test is conducted on both male and female but in case of female the process of radial access is very difficult and challenging because size of radial arteries in females are considerably small and also they have high rates of radial artery spasm.

Radial Angiogram Vs Femoral Angiogram: When is it Done?

A radial angiogram is introduced later to the femoral angiogram and it is the latest of the two. These days for most of the cases radial angiogram is used unless there is a special situation where it is necessary to use femoral angiogram,

Patient who undergoes angioplasty and stenting, then catheter is used for carefully opening the blockage in the artery or to widen the narrow artery. Catheter is either inserted in the femoral of groin region or in the radial artery which is present in the wrist region. When angioplasty is done by inserting the catheter in the radial artery then the process is termed as transradial angioplasty. Both these ways are completely secure and are equally effective for patients, however; it depends on the circumstances and the condition of the patient which approach to take. In any case, selection of approach mainly depends on the medical history and condition of the patient.

Pros of Femoral Angiogram

  • Success rate of femoral angiogram is very high.
  • Doctors who are eligible to perform this test are highly trained and experienced.
  • Good approach for patients suffering from PDA i.e. peripheral artery disease.

Cons of Femoral Angiogram

  1. After the femoral angiogram procedure patient is asked to lie down on the bed for minimum 6-7 hours.
  2. Constant observation by nurse is a must after the procedure is performed.
  3. High risk of bleeding
  4. As femoral artery is the only blood source in the leg region, hence; after or during the femoral angiogram patient may feel numbness in the legs.
  5. It is very complicated for doctors to reach out the artery while performing the procedure and they also need to stop bleeding in patient. This becomes even more necessary if the patient is overweight.

Pros of Radial Angiogram or Transradial Angiogram

  • The radial angiogram procedure was first introduced in the year 1980s and since then the success rate of the procedure is very successful.
  • Considerable decline in the risk of bleeding and this is beneficial women, elderly people and also for patients who take blood thinning medications.
  • Radial angiogram procedure is very comfortable.
  • After the radial angiogram procedure is done patients are not required to lie down for an extended period of time.
  • After the effect of anesthesia is over patient can easily walk around.
  • Patients are also allowed to eat or drink immediately after the test.
  • In addition to radial artery there are many other arteries supplying blood to the hand

Cons of Radial Angiogram or Transradial Angiogram

  • Procedure wise radial angiogram is very complicated as compared to femoral approach. This is because the radial arteries are smaller in size.
  • Doctors performing this test are not much trained and experienced.
  • These days, radial angiogram has become one of the common and preferred approaches for doctors because the medical equipment used for performing angioplasty and stenting are smaller in size. Further, doctors have gained significant training on performing the procedure by handling the complications with ease.

Before starting with the procedure patients are advised to discuss with the doctor about which access location would be appropriate for the test. Before signing the consent form for the test, patients need to ensure that the doctor performing the test is skilled, well experienced and technically sound. Also, ask the doctors about the precautions (if any) they need to follow after the test.

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