Radial access opens up a whole new pathway for neurovascular procedures

First-of-its-kind radial access catheter for neurointerventions

For neurovascular patient Dilys Bertrand, the technology that allowed for her quick release from hospital this summer was “a godsend.”

Bertrand was rushed to the hospital with a brain aneurysm a few years ago, and had coils inserted in her brain to close off the aneurysm via access through the groin, known as a transfemoral approach, or TFA. This year, at her annual MRI, it was clear that a procedure was required to adjust the coils.  Instead of the using the traditional femoral approach on Bertrand, Dr. Sachin Pandey, radiologist at the London Health Sciences Centre, opted to use a radial access catheter for the adjustment procedure, accessing the vasculature through the patient’s wrist rather than the groin.


When compared to the traditional femoral approach (TFA), transradial access (TRA) has been associated with significantly reduced access site complications when accessing the neurovasculature, according to a recent study published in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery. The study found that due to its superficial location, the radial artery is more easily compressible, leading to reduced risk of access site complications.

Licensed by Health Canada in July 2021, the RistTM Radial Access catheter from Medtronic is the only catheter currently indicated for neurovascular radial access in Canada.

“Rist represents the next step in the transformation of neurovascular procedures performed via the radial arterial approach,” said Dr. Pandey, who is also division head of Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiology and Chair of the Ontario Medical Association’s Section of Neuroradiology. “This is the first system designed from the ground up for use in the brain from wrist-access sites.”

In addition, the catheter is designed to go higher in the internal carotid artery to provide a stable platform and has a more flexible distal end, designed to navigate through tough acute bends in the radial pathway.

“Cardiac interventions have been treated through TRA techniques for many years due to lower access complication rates,” said Dr. Pandey. “In my experience, the radial approach is safer, more cost-effective, and more comfortable for many patients. Though each patient is a unique in terms of vasculature, I believe radial access will allow us to expand our ability to offer a safe and comfortable procedure for patients,” he added.

As the first patient in Canada to undergo a procedure with the Rist Radial Access catheter, Dilys Bertrand appreciated the benefits. “I wanted to be out as soon as possible, rather than staying a couple of days like the last time, and the hospital bed can go to someone else sooner. Technology really is a godsend.”

Roxane Bélanger  is an External Communications Specialist at Medtronic.

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