Guidelines on using artery-closing devices: devices are okay, but more research needed, experts say


Re-opening a blocked heart artery isn't the only procedure that concerns doctors when they thread instruments through an opening in a thigh artery and into a heart artery. Closing up the thigh artery is also a concern.

Arteriotomy -- the process of creating a hole in an "access artery" through which instruments are inserted -- is the first step in procedures like angiography (to visualize blockage in the heart or neck arteries) or percutaneous coronary intervention (to re-open blocked heart arteries).

A new statement from the American Heart Association addresses the use of arteriotomy closure devices. Arteriotomy closure is typically done manually, but more devices are entering the market to offer potential improvements over manual closure. The statement is published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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