Downsizing – the Future of Interventional Cardiology

Interventional Cardiology, 2012;7(1):28–32


The concept of downsized catheters (i.e., using catheters smaller than 6 French) for invasive coronary procedures, such as diagnostic cardiac catheterisation and percutaneous coronary intervention, has been developing over the years, particularly as a result of the rise of the transradial approach. Recent advances have allowed the use of smaller and sheathless catheters, which confer a number of advantages – such as fewer vascular complications, reduced use of contrast agent and reduced haemostasis – thus increasing patient safety and comfort and allowing more rapid patient mobilisation. Reductions in patient complications, number and length of hospital stay, and amount of contrast agent used can also lead to cost savings. While the use of smaller catheters has been hindered in the past because of poor angiographic image quality, new automated contrast injectors have helped overcome this limitation. There is a need to make interventional cardiologists worldwide more aware of the benefits of downsizing, in the light of the latest technical developments and the increased use of transradial approach.


Automated contrast injection, catheter, diagnostic cardiac catheterisation, downsizing, percutaneous coronary intervention, transradial approach

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Keywords: review, automated contrast injection, vascular complications, patient safety, contrast agent, angiography, catheter, diagnostic cardiac catheterisation, percutaneous coronary intervention, transradial approach
Created 19/04/2012 Last updated 19/04/2012