Background. Patient selection criteria have not been clearly established for use of the radial artery as a bypass conduit. To help establish such criteria, we measured changes in digital blood flow and hand function after radial artery removal. Methods. Ninety-eight patients of the first 122 consecutive patients considered for radial artery harvest met predetermined criteria by vascular noninvasive studies to undergo removal of the radial artery. In 42 of these 98 patients, the radial artery was actually used as a bypass conduit; 28 of these 42 patients returned for noninvasive vascular studies, a critical review of hand function, and a hand symptom questionnaire. Results. There were no significant differences between the operated and nonoperated hands for digital-brachial indices, cold response, grip or pinch strength, digital two-point discrimination, or nine-hole peg tests. The patients had an increased incidence of a small amount of forearm numbness and tingling, but no increase of pain or cold intolerance. Conclusions. For properly selected patients, there are minimal changes in hand function after radial artery removal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine