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Transradial Wrist Angioplasty Training Coast-to-Coast in January 2011
"Radial First" Session in California and SCAI Transradial Program (TRIP) in Philadelphia Start Off the New Year with Increased Training Opportunities for Cardiologists

Dr. Patel and Dr. Kern
Course Co-Directors: Dr. Morton J. Kern and Dr. Pranav Patel of University of California, Irvine

December 12, 2010 -- Starting the New Year off are coast-to-coast training opportunities for interventional cardiologists who are interested in learning about the transradial approach to heart catheterization, angioplasty and stenting.

Dr. Morton Kern and Dr. Pranav Patel of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, are offering their "Radial First" Training Program on January 8, and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has scheduled a follow up course to their oversubscribed Boston Summit. SCAI's new course is called the SCAI Transradial Intervention Program (TRIP) and it will be held on January 15 in Philadelphia.

Popular in Europe and Asia, the transradial (or wrist) approach to percutaneous catheter-based diagnostic and interventional procedures has been spreading only recently in the U.S. A 2008 study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiac Interventions, reported that during the period from 2004-2007, only 1-2% of all procedures were done from the wrist in the United States. According to Gary Clifton of Terumo Interventional Systems in a recent interview on, the use of transradial today may be closer to 7% -- and, as evidenced by the growth in training opportunities, this number is growing. An interesting insight into this data is that cardiologists who have adopted the wrist technique tend to use it as their default access, and they do more than half of their procedures this way -- many use it as much as 90% of the time.

University of California, Irvine's course co-director, Dr. Morton Kern, explained to Angioplasty.Org why his course and, in fact, UCI's entire program is called "Radial First".

"This is called 'Radial First' because it should be the first approach for cardiac cath. This is the first West Coast training program that I'm aware of and it's to promote the use of radial artery access for cardiac cath because of the reduced complication rates associated with radial access, especially in PCI patients and those heavily anticoagulated. The traditional method of femoral access is good, but it has its downsides. Certain bleeding complications are potentially fatal but there are also problems with vascular access closure devices and a well-known group of patients that can't tolerate femoral access very well: the obese, those with back trouble, those with tortuous vessels, peripheral vascular disease and the list goes on. So the purpose is really quite simple: to promote a better method.... "Radial First" is the way to go, because if you use it infrequently, you don't have the skill set to make it effective, efficient and safe as it would be if you practiced it all the time."

    Morton J Kern, MD
Morton J Kern, MD
UC Irvine

A description of the January 8 UC Irvine half-day offering can be found here, but space is very limited and Dr. Kern urges anyone interested in learning this technique to contact the course coordinator, Lesley Anderson, at (714) 456-5427.

The SCAI-sponsored TRIP course being held on January 15 in Philadelphia is a full-day course and has recently added a special section devoted exclusively to nurses & technologists -- who work with the interventional cardiologists in the cath lab. The course agenda and registration information can be found on SCAI's TRIP web site.

The TRIP course is being led by Program Co-chairs Kimberly Skelding, M.D., FSCAI and Samir B. Pancholy, M.D., FSCAI, and a faculty of the most highly trained and well respected experts in this field. The schedule lists a dynamic mix of didactic lectures, case reviews and simulation training. In addition to the co-chairs, the faculty for the course reads like a who's who of transradialists in the U.S., many of whom have been interviewed in Angioplasty.Org's Transradial Center: Ron Caputo, M.D., FSCAI, John Coppola, M.D., FSCAI, Ian Gilchrist, M.D., FSCAI, David Kandzari, M.D., Ph.D., FSCAI, Mitchell Krukoff, M.D., Tak Kwan, M.D., FSCAI, Tift Mann, M.D., Tejas Patel, M.D., Christopher Pyne, M.D., FSCAI , Sunil Rao, M.D., FSCAI, Pinak (Binny ) Shah, M.D., FSCAI and Jennifer Tremmel, M.D., FSCAI.

Kimberly Skelding, MD
Kimberly Skelding, MD
Geisinger Medical Center

Dr. Kimberly Skelding of Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania is not only course co-chair but also Chair of SCAI's Transradial Working Group. The group's first SCAI Radial Summit in Boston was a great success, so popular that many cardiologists had to be turned away -- sparking the organizing of this Philadelphia course. Another SCAI radial course is being planned for San Francisco in the spring. Dr. Skelding told Angioplasty.Org:

"I am thrilled that the transradial approach is being embraced by the interventional community at this point. It has not been systematically accepted and it is an important approach to decrease complications in our patient population, especially for the elderly population, women and ACS/STEMI groups which have the highest bleeding risk."

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 created the "Radial Access Center for Transradial Approach" in 2007, 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, Sunil Rao, John Coppola, Shigeru Saito, Jennifer Tremmel and Howard Cohen. The section also maintains a listing of upcoming training courses in the transradial approach.

For patients there is also a "Hospital Locator" that lists U.S. centers practicing radial angiography. As Dr. Howard Cohen of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York says of the wrist technique, "Patients really prefer it. 95% of people who've had it both ways would say 'I'm coming back to you, Dr. Cohen because I like this transradial a lot better than the other way!'

Reported by Burt Cohen, December 12, 2010