The radial artery is currently regarded as a useful vascular access site for coronary procedures. This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility and safety of the percutaneous radial artery approach for angioplasty in the elderly.Methods
Two thousand and fifty-eight consecutive patients (762 elderly, age ≥65 years; and 1296 non-elderly, age <65 years, respectively) who underwent transradial coronary angioplasty were recruited in this study. Study endpoints included procedure success rate, procedure time, vascular complications at access site, and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events during hospitalization.Results
Elderly patients were more likely to present with unstable angina and renal dysfunction. The incidence of radial and brachiocephalic trunk anatomical tortuosity was higher in elderly patients than that in non-elderly patients (11.5% vs 3.7%; 8.9% vs 2.6%, P <0.01, respectively). However, procedural success rate (94.7% vs 95.6%) and total mean procedure time ((67.9±27.3) minutes vs (58.6±38.5) minutes) for transradial coronary angioplasty were not significantly different between the two groups. Clinical course during the hospitalization was slightly worse in the elderly patients because of more adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events after the procedure. However, the incidence of vascular complications was not significantly different between the elderly and non-elderly patients. Conclusion Although the incidence of radial and brachiocephalic trunk anatomical tortuosity is higher in elderly patients, transradial coronary intervention can be performed with similar safety and procedural success in these patients as compared with non-elderly patients.