Ultrasound-guided catheterization of the femoral artery: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Maria Sobolev, David P. Slovut, Alfredo Lee Chang, Ariel L. Shiloh, Lewis Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Objectives. The goal of this meta-analysis was to determine the utility of real-time two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound guidance for femoral artery catheterization. Background. Despite the shift toward establishing vascular access via the radial artery rather than the femoral artery, femoral artery cannulation is still frequent in cardiac catheterization. Since vascular complications related to femoral artery cannulation can be quite devastating, preventing these complications is vital. Methods. A comprehensive literature search of Medline, Embase, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was performed. Additionally, five years of conference abstracts from critical care, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and cardiology were reviewed. Two independent reviewers identified prospective, randomized controlled trials comparing ultrasound guidance with traditional palpation techniques of femoral artery catheterization (with or without fluoroscopy). Data were extracted on study design, study size, operator and patient characteristics, complication rates, first-pass success, procedure time, and number of attempts. Results. Four trials with a total of 1422 subjects were included in the review, with 703 subjects in the palpation group and 719 subjects in the ultrasound-guided group. Compared with traditional methods, ultrasound guidance for femoral artery catheterization was associated with 49% reduction in overall complications, including hematoma and accidental venipuncture (relative risk, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.28-0.91). It was also associated with 42% improvement in the likelihood of first-attempt success (relative risk, 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-2.00). Conclusions. The use of real-time 2D ultrasound guidance for femoral artery catheterization decreases life-threatening vascular complications and improves first-pass success rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Invasive Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Cardiac imaging
  • Femoral artery cannulation
  • Ultrasound guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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