Complete "in situ" avulsion of the radial artery complicating transradial coronary rotational atherectomy

Nicolas J. Mouawad, Quinn Capers, Christopher Allen, Iyore James, Mounir J. Haurani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Transradial percutaneous access (TR) is promoted because of increased patient comfort and convenience as well as a lower risk of access site and cardiac complications in the literature. Increased use of the TR purports a new set of possible complications for which the vascular surgeon must be capable to recognize and manage. Methods: A 48-year-old, devout Jehovah's Witness, woman with a history of coronary artery bypass surgery presented with a non-ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction. Pretransfer catheterization demonstrated a heavily calcified, 90% distal left main stenosis with an occluded left internal mammary artery graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery. To minimize the risk of bleeding requiring a blood transfusion, a coronary rotational atherectomy via a TR was performed. A nonhydrophilic, 7F sheath was used to accommodate the larger rotational atherectomy burr sizes. The coronary procedure was successful, but the sheath removal was complicated by significant resistance to pullback while the patient complained of severe pain. Post procedure she developed a hematoma with motor and neurological deficits of her hand. Results: Emergent surgical exploration with fasciotomy was planned. The radial artery was explored and found to be redundant and pulseless, prompting proximal evaluation and revealing complete avulsion of the radial artery at its origin. An intraoperative arteriogram revealed that the brachial and ulnar arteries and interosseous branches were patent and filled the palmar arch and surgical ligation of the radial artery was conducted. Conclusion: Vascular surgeons need to be aware of potential complications related to TR which are likely to increase as this method is more widely disseminated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123.e7-123.e11
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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