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August 7, 1972

Medical News

JAMA. 1972;221(6):547-556. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200190003002

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Transfemoral cardiac catheterization can cause fatal blood clots  It's no secret that the transfemoral technique of coronary arteriography, while simpler to do, is associated with a higher rate of complications and deaths than the transbrachial technique.Eight physicians from five different Veterans Administration Hospitals think they may know the reason: "catheter embolism.""Histologic evidence of what we are calling 'catheter emboli' was obtained in 12 of 14 instances in which we had adequate histologic material to review," said Timothy Takaro, MD, chief of the surgical service at the Oteen (NC) VA Hospital. "We think that such emboli—different histologically from the usual in situ thrombus—are an important cause of complications of coronary arteriography using the transfemoral technique," he told the Society for Vascular Surgery meeting in Carmel, Calif.His co-workers include Roque Pifarré, MD, of the Hines, Ill, VA Hospital; Robert D. Wuerflein, MD, Palo Alto, Calif, VA Hospital; Albert D. Hall, MD