Treatment of peripheral arterial disease via percutaneous brachial artery access

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Objective:This review was conducted to evaluate the types of endovascular procedures that can be performed via brachial artery access, evaluate the access success rate, and determine the incidence of technical complications.Methods:A retrospective 10-year record review at a tertiary facility from January 1, 2005, through June 30, 2015, was completed. Patients who underwent attempted brachial artery access were eligible for review. Outcomes intended to be evaluated included ability to access the vessel, reach an identified lesion, and perform an indicated procedure, while describing the incidence and type of complications that occurred to clarify the utility and safety of brachial artery access.Results:The review included 265 access cases in 179 patients. The access success rate was 98.9%. Intervention was performed in 223 cases (84.2%). Angioplasty was the most common intervention (59%, [154 cases]), with stents, atherectomy, coiling, and percutaneous thrombectomy having also been performed. Complications included hematoma (2.3%) and pseudoaneurysm (1.5%). Complications requiring intervention occurred in 1.9% of procedures. Interventions were performed on all major vessels as distal as the dorsalis pedis. Sheath sizes ranged from 4F to 7F. Intervention was performed on bilateral lower extremities in 38 cases (14.5%). A femoral bypass graft was present in 141 patients (53%) as the main indication for brachial artery access.Conclusions:Brachial access is a reliable and effective option for treatment of peripheral vascular disease and should be considered when femoral access is difficult or contraindicated and when a bypass graft is present in the femoral region. In addition, bilateral lesions may be approached easily through one brachial artery access site, making this approach advantageous when bilateral lesions are expected. The complication rate is similar to femoral access and can be minimized with ultrasound-guided access distally over the humerus, micropuncture access, and a dedicated postprocedure “hold team.”

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