A shift has occurred in interventional cardiology from transfemoral to transradial access due to a 70%-80% decrease in complications. This shift has not yet taken place in other interventional specialties, perhaps owing to the lack of generalizability of findings in the cardiology data.
Our aim was to assess data from the recent mechanical thrombectomy prospective trials to better understand the access-site complication rate.
Articles were systematically sourced from the National Center for Biotechnology Information PubMed archive.
According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines, prospective, randomized controlled trials published after 2008 with mention of major and/or minor femoral access-site complications in neuroendovascular mechanical thrombectomies were included.
Major and minor femoral access-site complications were extracted. A total complication rate was calculated with major access-site complications alone and combined with minor access-site complications.
Seven prospective studies of 339 total screened met the inclusion criteria. Eleven major access-site complications were identified in of 660 total interventions, revealing a major access-site complication rate of 1.67% for patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy with transfemoral access. If minor access-site complications were included, 35 total incidents were detected in 763 interventions, resulting in a total complication rate of 4.59%.
Multiple unspecified vessel and procedure-related complications were mentioned in the studies.
The overall rate of major access-site complications was 1.67% in this review, which is not low and poses a risk to patients. We suggest further investigation into the feasibility and complication rates of alternative access sites for neurointerventional procedures.

© 2020 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.