Femoral vascular access complications in adult congenital heart disease patients: audit from a single tertiary centre

Colin Chue, LE Hudsmith, Oliver Stumper, J DeGiovanni, Sarah Thorne, Paul Clift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE To determine the rate of vascular access complications in patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). BACKGROUND Complications of femoral access following coronary angiography or percutaneous coronary intervention have been studied extensively, but the complication rate following catheterization and intervention in ACHD patients is poorly documented. DESIGN, SETTING, AND OUTCOME MEASURES: We present a retrospective audit of vascular access complications in a large tertiary ACHD center over a 12-month period. Complications were defined as any clinically significant hematoma, pseudoaneurysm, arteriovenous fistula, or bleeding resulting in the need for imaging, transfusion, vascular or radiological intervention, or delayed discharge. RESULTS Of 197 procedures (102 interventions and 95 cardiac catheterizations), a complication rate of 3.6% was identified, comparable to that of coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention. The main complications were femoral artery pseudoaneurysm and hematoma resulting in delayed discharge by a mean of 2(2/3) days (range 1-4 days). Predictors of risk for vascular complications include female sex, history of diabetes, and anticoagulation; larger sheath sizes and obesity were not associated with higher complication rate. CONCLUSIONS Adult congenital heart disease patients represent a unique and ever-growing population with a higher incidence of catheterization as children, surgical cut-down scars and anatomical variants. We present a low incidence of femoral access complications in interventional and diagnostic procedures in a large series of ACHD patients over a 12-month period. Patients with risk factors for vascular complications may be considered for device closure of the venous access site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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