Radial catheterization involves inserting a catheter through the wrist's radial artery

Heart patients who experience chest pain or an emergent event—such as a heart attack—undergo cardiac catheterization to determine the level of heart damage or disease. The minimally invasive cardiology procedure is also used to open blocked arteries limiting blood flow through the heart and preventing oxygenated blood from traveling properly through the body. Cardiac catheterizations are performed on more than 1 million Americans each year.

Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas proudly offers an innovative cardiac catheterization approach: radial artery catheterization. For many years, the femoral artery was the preferred entry point for cardiac catheterization during minimally invasive cardiology procedures. However, in radial catheterization at our Dallas heart hospital, the catheter is inserted through the radial artery in the wrist.

Benefits of radial catheterization

Radial artery catheterization candidacy

Unfortunately, not all patients are eligible for radial artery catheterization at our heart hospital in Dallas.

To be a candidate, patients must have good blood supply to their hands through both the radial and ulnar arteries in the rare case that the radial artery becomes blocked after the minimally invasive radial artery catheterization procedure. If blood flow through both arteries is good and the radial artery then becomes blocked, the ulnar artery takes over entirely and supplies enough blood to the whole hand.

Learn more about the effectiveness and safety of transradial artery access for cardiac catheterization