The Effects of Transfemoral Catheterization on Blood Flow in the Extremities
The peripheral hemodynamics of 20 patients were studied 24 hours before and 24 hours following completion of Seldinger transfemoral cardiac catheterization. All patients were catheterized in the right femoral artery and vein, while in 13 an arterial needle was placed in the left femoral artery.
In the catheterized leg, mean calf blood flow and venous capacitance fell while mean calf vascular resistance was increased. The placement of an indwelling arterial needle caused mean calf blood flow to fall with an increase in calf vascular resistance. Venous capacitance was unchanged. The above changes while present 24 hours after catheterization had returned to normal one week later. While no symptoms or signs of limb ischemia occurred, oscillometry showed deterioration in the lower limb pulsation amplitudes in 13 of the 20 patients. No significant changes in peripheral hemodynamics were seen in the limbs, the arteries of which had not been catheterized.
Thus, although all patients were symptomless and free of signs suggestive of ischemia clinically, arterial and venous catheterization and/or the placement of an arterial needle causes significant changes which last at least 24 hours distal to the invasion of the vessels.
- Received August 27, 1973.
- Accepted June 10, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.