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Transradial Angioplasty Training at Duke University School of Medicine

Sunil V. Rao, MD
Mitchell W. Krucoff, MD
Sunil V. Rao, MD and
Mitchell W. Krucoff, MD of
Duke University
Medical Center

May 25, 2010 -- Dr. Sunil V. Rao, one of the key researchers of access site bleeding complications resulting from angioplasty and stent placement, has been a vocal proponent of the transradial (wrist) approach to angioplasty, which minimizes or eliminates these complications. Now Dr. Rao and his colleague, Dr. Mitchell W. Krucoff, have designed a two-day CME training course in the transradial approach for clinical and interventional cardiologists, as well as physicians and technicians involved in the care of patients.

Titled "Essentials of Transradial Angiography and Intervention", the course will be held on July 15-16, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina. Featured guest faculty will be transradial experts such as Dr. Tift Mann, Ian Gilchrist, Samir Pancholy, David Kandzari and Christopher Pyne. The course also will feature hands-on sessions with simulation devices.

Dr. Rao told Angioplasty.Org, "We are very excited to be holding our first transradial angiography and intervention course. There is clearly a tremendous interest in transradial right now and its use has increased significantly over the past few years. A great way to get started with transradial is to attend a formal course like ours."

The conundrum of angioplasty procedures in the U.S. today is that, while pharmacological therapy and device technology has significantly reduced the rate of procedural complications such as recurrent ischemia, infarction, and death, the most common adverse event in patients undergoing PCI is bleeding, 60% to 70% of which is related to the vascular access site. While the predominant site of vascular access for PCI is the femoral artery, the radial artery in the wrist has emerged as a feasible and preferred site, virtually eliminating access site bleeding complications. However, registry data shows that the radial artery approach is used in less than 3% of PCI procedures performed in the United States as compared to 40%–50% worldwide. The lower rate of use in the United States may be due to lack of operator experience and comfort with the approach. So courses such as the Duke two-day seminar are one of the few ways in which cardiologists in the U.S. can gain this knowledge.

According to the organizers, the main topics that will be covered are patient selection, optimal room set-up, pharmacological options for dealing with both spasm and thrombotic complications, catheter choice, manipulation and complex lesions and methods of dealing with challenging anatomy in the forearm and chest.

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify appropriate patient selection for the radial approach to PCI with a focus on
    the Allen’s test and prior coronary bypass surgery;
  • Identify appropriate room set-up to facilitate the performance of PCI via the
    radial approach;
  • Describe pharmacological options to treat arterial spasm during PCI via the radial artery
    and pharmacological options for protection from thrombotic complications during PCI;
  • Describe technical aspects of PCI via the radial approach including reviewing guide
    catheter options, catheter manipulation, and treatment of complex lesions;
  • Describe methods for dealing with challenging vascular anatomy in the forearm and chest.

The course will be held at the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center in Durham. More information can be found on the course web site at where you can also register online.

A PDF of the program brochure can be found at

For more information, contact Wendy Sprintz of the Duke Clinical Research Institute ( DCRI) at (877) 707-2904, or email her at

Reported by Burt Cohen, May 25, 2010