NYMC Faculty Publications

Ultrasound Guidance for Vascular Access for Coronary Angiogram: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Author Type(s)

Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

The American Journal of Cardiology

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date





Obtaining vascular access during percutaneous coronary intervention is necessary to facilitate the procedure but carries procedural risks that impact patient outcomes. Historically, vascular access has been accomplished using anatomic landmarks, pulsation, and/or fluoroscopic guidance. Ultrasound (US) guidance has emerged as a modality for achieving vascular access in a multitude of interventional procedures including those in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. US use has been demonstrated in randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses to be associated with an increased success rate for vascular access with fewer complications, although the data are mixed. We aimed to re-evaluate the totality of evidence in an updated meta-analysis to compare the ease of access and complications rates between US-guided and manual vascular access. A meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials including 5,170 patients was performed. The primary outcome evaluated was the rate of access failure, and the secondary outcomes included hematomas and access site bleeding. US-guided arterial access was associated with a significantly higher rate of first-attempt success and a decreased risk of venipuncture. US use had a trend toward a lower total number of attempts, but the results were not significant. This updated meta-analysis further supports the use of US for vascular access for coronary angiography because of higher rates of first-attempt success and reduced venipuncture. However, there was no significant difference in vascular complications such as hematoma, pseudoaneurysm, and bleeding complications. Because of the high morbidity of bleeding complications associated with coronary angiography, further research should be done to reduce these complications.