Open Heart 1: doi:10.1136/openhrt-2014-000094
  • Coronary artery disease

Interaction between access choice and pharmacotherapy for coronary intervention: the results of a UK survey

  1. Richard A Anderson
  1. Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tim D Kinnaird; Tim.Kinnaird2{at}


Introduction Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has changed significantly over the past decade with the uptake of radial access and the development of newer and more potent antiplatelets and safer antithrombins. This survey examined the default access route and pharmacology choice and their interaction in UK interventional practice.

Methods An email-based survey invited interventional cardiologists to answer questions regarding arterial access and pharmacology use during PCI. Respondents were categorised into femoral, radial and radial+ (if the other radial was used rather than femoral if the right radial attempt failed). Data were analysed using χ2 or the Student t test.

Results 81% of the 204 respondents reported the radial artery as their default access site with a significant interaction between years since qualification and access choice (21.1 years for radial+ vs 23 years for radial (p=0.027) vs 26.6 years for femoral (p=0.013) vs radial (p=0.0005) vs radial+). There were 19 different combinations of access and pharmacology reported. For non-ST elevation myocardial infarction PCI, there was a significant trend for radial+ and radial operators to favour ticagrelor or tailored therapy versus femoral operators (54.8% vs 47.8% vs 35%, respectively, p=0.018). For primary PCI (PPCI), radial+ and radial operators were much more likely to choose ticagrelor or prasugrel than femoral operators (77.2% (p<0.001) vs 73.9% (p=0.023) vs 50%, respectively (p<0.0001) for trend). For PPCI, glycoprotein inhibitor use was similar between groups (26.1% vs 25%, not significant); radial operators were much more likely to choose bivalirudin (52.8% vs 10%, p<0.0001) and much less likely to use heparin only (19.8% vs 65%, p<0.0001) than femoral operators.

Conclusions There is a significant interaction between years since qualification and access choice. Although there is no established consensus on access site or drugs, default radial operators are significantly more likely to utilise new generation antiplatelets and bivalirudin than femoral operators.

  • Received February 26, 2014.
  • Revision received May 7, 2014.
  • Accepted May 28, 2014.
  • Published 13 June 2014

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