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Radial Angioplasty Training at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix

November 20, 2008 -- Phoenix, Arizona -- Several recent international studies have shown that catheterizations, angioplasty and stent placement, when performed from the wrist, result in lower bleeding complications, and are associated with a significant reduction in mortality. Even so, the wrist approach, also called transradial access, is performed in less than 4 out of 100 patients in the United States, although in Canada, Europe and Asia, use of the technique is far more common. One reason, says Dr. Mehrdad Saririan of Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, is that "there are a lot of myths surrounding radial procedures."

Dr. Saririan hopes to dispel these myths, and train more cardiologists in this technique at his upcoming course on December 5, 2008, the first for Maricopa -- in fact Dr. Saririan and his colleague, Dr. Jay Kaufman, are the only physicians in the Phoenix area who routinely perform transradial coronary angiography and PCI.

Like Dr. Saririan, most practitioners of this technique agree that one of the biggest roadblocks to wider practice of the transradial approach in the U.S. has been training -- few interventional fellowship programs offer this technique, so most cardiologists wishing to acquire the necessary skills must learn the procedure once they are in practice. Several centers in the U.S. where radial angioplasty is utilized have been offering courses for cardiologists -- and Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix is the latest addition.

Mehrdad Saririan, MD
Mehrdad Saririan, MD

Dr. Saririan, who learned the technique during his fellowship in Canada, describes his course curriculum:

"If you can have a sit-down with a person who does large volume of radial PCIs and you go over some of the tips and tricks of the technique and you try to debunk some of these myths associated with radial catheterization, that’s very important. Simulation training is also very useful and we are incorporating that into our course. Finally live case demonstrations."

Although obvious advantages to the wrist technique are better outcomes, less complications and increased patient comfort (patients can walk almost immediately after a procedure, as opposed to laying flat for hours when the angioplasty is done from the femoral/leg approach) another advantage is lower cost. Dr. Saririan explains:

"There's less cost associated with a radial hemostasis device than with a femoral vascular closure device. Also from the arm it's very easy to engage both coronaries with a single multipurpose diagnostic catheter, so that’s another way that costs are decreased, by using a single multipurpose catheter. And there's less cost in terms of hospitalization and complications. So I think part of the reason why radial procedures are common in Canada is because of the necessity to contain costs associated with this procedure."

The course is being held on Friday, December 5, 2008, from 7:00am to 4:00pm at:

Maricopa Medical Center
2601 East Roosevelt Street
Phoenix, AZ  85008

More information on registration can be found in this online brochure. The course receives support from Terumo Interventional Systems.

About the Radial Access Center on Angioplasty.Org
To assist in educating the professional and patient population in the U.S. about the this technique, Angioplasty.Org has created the "Radial Access Center for Transradial Approach", a special section devoted to information and news about the transradial technique, for both patients and physicians. The Radial Center features interviews with leading practitioners of the radial technique, such as Drs. Jeffrey Popma, R. Lee Jobe, John Coppola, Shigeru Saito, Kirk Garratt and Howard Cohen.

For patients there is also a "Hospital Locator" that lists U.S. centers practicing radial angiography.


Reported by Burt Cohen, November 20, 2008