Non-harvestable radial artery. A bilateral problem?

Abstract

Since radial artery is preferably harvested from a non-dominant hand, our aim was to study whether there are contraindications for radial artery harvest in the dominant hand if the radial artery of the other hand is not suitable for harvesting. Thirty-three patients scheduled to coronary artery bypass grafting with contraindication for radial artery harvest in the non-dominant hand underwent Allen test, upper arm Doppler ultrasonography and digital pletysmography. In ultrasonography, both anatomical and circulatory measurements were performed. Both hands were then compared to each other. Furthermore, twelve control patients without contraindication for radial artery harvest in the non-dominant hand were examined. All 33 patients had contraindication for radial artery harvest in the non-dominant hand. Twenty-four (73%) had contraindication in the dominant hand as well. In terms of morphology, there was no statistically significant difference between the hands but circulatory parameters as a group suggested contraindication. Among controls, four patients (33%) had contraindication in the dominant hand. In the case of a non-harvestable radial artery in a hand there is clearly an increased risk for contraindication for radial artery harvest also in the other hand.

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