Evaluation of the “Learning Curve” for Left and Right Radial Approach During Percutaneous Coronary Procedures.

Sciahbasi A, Romagnoli E, Trani C et al. Italy.

The transradial approach for percutaneous coronary procedures may be effectively performed through the right radial approach (RRA) or left radial approach (LRA) after an appropriate “learning curve.” However, studies evaluating the “learning curve” for RRA and LRA are lacking. In the Transradial Approach (Left vs Right) and Procedural Times During Percutaneous Coronary Procedures (TALENT) study, which randomized 1,540 patients to the RRA or LRA, transradial procedures were performed by either seniors or fellows. Diagnostic procedures performed by fellows were divided into 3 stages: 0 to 100 procedures (stage 1), 101 to 200 procedures (stage 2), and >200 procedures (sage 3). The primary end point of the study was fluoroscopy time during the 3 stages. Six fellows performed 532 procedures, 260 through the RRA and 272 through the LRA. During the training period, fellows showed a progressive significant reduction in fluoroscopy time for the LRA over the 3 stages (stage 1: 258 seconds, interquartile range [IQR] 138 to 377; stage 2: 198 seconds, IQR 126.5 to 375; stage 3: 142 seconds, IQR 95 to 325; p = 0.003), whereas for the RRA, only a slight and nonsignificant reduction in fluoroscopy time was observed (stage 1: 271 seconds, IQR 186 to 364; stage 2: 240 seconds, IQR 156 to 395; stage 3: 218.5 seconds, IQR 145.5 to 300.5; p = 0.20). Cannulation time was progressively reduced over the time for the 2 radial approaches: during stage 1, <40% of procedures required ≤3 minutes for radial cannulation, whereas at stage 3, radial cannulation time was ≤3 minutes in >60% of procedures (p <0.0001). In conclusion, the LRA is associated with a shorter learning curve compared to the RRA.

Am J Cardiol. 2011 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print]