Clinical Research|Articles in Press

Comparing Outcomes of Transfemoral Versus Transbrachial or Transradial Approach in Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS)

Published:February 06, 2023DOI:


      While Transfemoral Carotid Artery Stenting (TFCAS) is a valid minimally invasive option for patients who also might be suitable for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) or transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), alternative access sites such as transbrachial (TB) or transradial (TR) are only utilized when anatomic factors preclude direct carotid or transfemoral access. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the outcomes of TR/TB access in comparison to TF for percutaneous carotid artery revascularization.


      All patients undergoing non-TCAR carotid artery stenting (CAS) from January 2012 to June 2021 in the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) Database were included. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on the access site for CAS: TF or TR/TB. Primary outcomes included stroke/death, technical failure and access site complications (hematoma, stenosis, infection, pseudoaneurysm and AV fistula). Secondary outcomes included stroke, TIA, MI, death, non–home discharge, extended length of postoperative stay (LOS) (>1 day), and composite endpoints of stroke/MI and stroke/death/MI. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess postoperative outcomes, and results were adjusted for relevant potential confounders including age, gender, race, degree of stenosis, symptomatic status, anesthesia, comorbidities, and preoperative medications.


      Out of the 23,965 patients, TR/TB approach was employed in 819 (3.4%) while TF was used in 23,146 (96.6%). Baseline characteristics found men were more likely to undergo revascularization using TR/TB approach (69.4% vs. 64.9%, P = 0.009). Patients undergoing TR/TB approach were also more likely to be symptomatic (49.9% vs. 28.6%, P < 0.001). Guideline directed medications were more frequently used with TR/TB including P2Y12 inhibitor (80.3% vs. 74.7%, P < 0.01), statin (83.8% vs. 80.6%), and aspirin (88.3% vs. 84.5%, P = 0.003) preoperatively. On univariate analysis, patients with TB/TR approach experienced higher rates of adverse outcomes. After adjusting for potential confounders, TR/TB patients had no significant increase in the risk of stroke/death [aOR 1.10 (0.69–1.76), P = 0.675]; however, the use of TR/TB access was associated with a more than 2-fold increase in risk for in-hospital MI [aOR 2.39 (1.32–4.30), P = 0.004] and 2-fold increase in risk of technical failure [aOR 2.21 (1.31–3.73) P = 0.003]. The use of TR/TB access was also associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of access site complications [aOR 0.53 (0.32–0.85), P = 0.009].


      This study confirms that although technically more challenging, TR or TB approach serves as a reasonable alternative with lower access site complications for CAS particularly in patients where anatomic factors preclude revascularization by TFCAS or TCAR. However, TR/TB is associated with an increased risk of technical failure and myocardial infarction, which requires further study.
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