Transradial coronary angioplasty Simon S Eccleshall Introduction T he most commonly used access sites for interventional cardiology are the femoral, brachial and radial arteries. The selection of arterial approach significantly influences the cost of the procedure and the patient’s quality of life as well as vascular access site complication rates, affecting procedural morbidity and mortality figures. 1 The exponential rise in stent deployment combined with more aggressive antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy has exacerbated femoral vascular complications, with major bleeding rates of 23% following rescue angioplasty with concurrent use of glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors. 2 A safer route of arterial access would therefore be highly desirable. whom preceding diagnostic films were performed by the femoral route. 4 The transradial technique therefore fulfils the requirements for a safer access site for interventional procedures, with the added advantages of cost savings and improved quality of life. This approach can be used in combination with the femoral artery for intra-aortic balloon pump insertion and in combination with per-cutaneous puncture of a vein for right heart catheterisation and temporary pacing, whilst still conferring the benefits of safer arte-rial access. Technique catheter is vitally important when using the transradial technique: it must provide support from the aortic wall whilst being co-axial with the coronary ostium.