Location of femoral artery access and correlation with vascular complications

Sridevi R. Pitta, Abhiram Prasad, Gautam Kumar, Ryan Lennon, Charanjit S. Rihal, David R. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of the study was to document the frequency of optimal femoral artery access location and its correlation with vascular complications in contemporary practice. Background: Vascular access bleeding during coronary interventions is associated with adverse outcomes. A potential strategy for reducing access-site bleeding is to achieve optimal location for the femoral access. However, there is a paucity of data on how well this goal is achieved in clinical practice using anatomical landmarks. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated femoral angiograms of 300 patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention to identify the location of the access that had been performed using anatomical landmarks. Patients were divided into two groups based on the location of the arterial access: above the femoral bifurcation but below the inferior border of the inferior epigastric artery (optimal location) and those that were either above or below these landmarks (suboptimal location). Frequency of access site complications was recorded. Results: The femoral artery access site was located outside the optimal location in 38 (13.0%) patients. There was no significant difference regards to baseline characteristics. Overall, access-related complications occurred in 17 (5.7%) patients. Vascular complications were significantly more frequent in patients who had a femoral artery access outside the optimal location (18% vs. 4%, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The femoral artery access site is not at the optimal location in a significant proportion of patients, and this is associated with an increased risk of vascular complications. Improving the rates of optimal arterial access by routine use of fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance has the potential of reducing vascular complications and improving outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • complications
  • femoral artery
  • percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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