Transradial access is now used in as many as 40% of U.S. PCIs, and many interventional cardiologists have broadly embraced the approach. The procedure's "lower risk and higher comfort" level for patients won over SCAI fellow Dr. Thomas Tu, who said he transformed his cath lab at Louisville Cardiology Group to "a facility where we can offer radial to the sickest patients -- including those coming with an active heart attack." Staff training, equipment selection and repetition were important to making the transition, Tu said, and his practice is now 95% transradial. Radial access was a hot topic at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics meeting, where SCAI fellow Dr. Sunil V. Rao presented data suggesting transradial access is as safe as femoral access for female patients, despite their smaller arteries.

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