Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (775.67 kB)

Comparison of Radial and Femoral Approaches for Coronary Angiography with or without Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Relation to Vascular Access Site Complications

Download (775.67 kB)
posted on 2021-11-08, 23:31 authored by Woodhead, Jonele Maree

Background A major population health objective in New Zealand is to reduce the incidence and impact of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains New Zealand's leading cause of death (41%). This high demand on health services indicates the need for improved therapies and treatment. Significant advances in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) offers many patients who would not typically be eligible for treatment, the chance for a better quality of life living with coronary artery disease (CAD). At present femoral access is primarily used for coronary angiography and or PCI procedures, however more recently there has been a gradual shift to using the radial access approach. Study objective The study's objective was to look at comparing the different access sites used for coronary angiography (CA) and/or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and the significance of the rates of vascular access site complications. The research question considered was; "Is there a significant difference in the vascular access site complication rates when comparing radial to femoral approaches for coronary angiography?"  Methodology and design A cohort study design used observational prospective data on radial approaches and compared this with historical retrospective data on femoral approaches. The secondary (comparative) data was extracted from historical records, from earlier research I had completed. The collection of the secondary data involved strict criteria so that the observational study participants had similar baseline characteristics to ensure validity of this study. One hundred participants were recruited for each (prospective and retrospective) database and then compared and analysed. Findings The use of a radial approach for CA and PCI has a significant decrease in combined vascular access site complications (haematoma, vasovagal and arterial bleed), (p value 0.001), OR 0.28 (0.13-0.62). Haematoma is the main vascular complication (p value 0.009), OR 0.29 (0.11-0.74). Conclusion This study, although small, can be used as a pilot study for a more detailed and bigger national study within New Zealand. From the results it is clear there is a significant decrease in the vascular site complication rates when a radial approach is undertaken for CA and/or PCI. Through education and clinical practice, the radial approach would ensure better patient safety, satisfaction and comfort which would help reduce the patients length of stay and increase patients treated with timely discharges. It could also help decrease the nurses' workload caring for the patient with the radial approach due to the lesser complication rates. More extensive use of radial approaches for CA and or PCI would ensure the above benefits for the patients, staff and the organisation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Nursing (Clinical)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


McEldowney, Rose