Background. The use of radial arteries for coronary revascularization is increasing. There remain concerns regarding alteration of upper extremity function after radial artery procurement. This study evaluates the functional morbidity in higher risk patients. Methods. Between April 1997 and September 1999, 374 patients underwent unilateral or bilateral radial artery procurement. A questionnaire was used to evaluate symptoms related to motor and sensory function and changes in appearance after radial artery harvest. Results. Two hundred eighty-nine patients were successfully interviewed. The average age was 63 years. Median follow-up was 9.5 months (range, 2 to 23 months). No patient suffered limb loss. Altered gross and fine motor function, residual pain, paresthesias, numbness, pallor, swelling, and altered temperature sensation were compared among diabetic patients, patients older than 70 years, and patients without these characteristics. Conclusions. Radial artery procurement for elective coronary revascularization can be done with minimal serious morbidity in higher risk patients. The most common symptoms were numbness and paresthesia. Despite the finding of greater residual pain in diabetic patients, we do not believe the use of radial artery conduits is contraindicated in these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine