Distal Transradial Access European ThinkRadialOn August 31, 2018, Merit Medical hosted its first ThinkRadial™ Intervention Course in Australia—an event that signified the continuing global expansion of the #radialfirst movement.

Held at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne, the 2-day course welcomed interventional radiologists from all over the world who were eager to start or expand their radial interventional practice.

To accomplish this, Merit welcomed faculty presenters, Yehia El Hgar, MBBS, FRANZCR, and Darren Klass, MD, PhD, to teach the course.

An advocate for the increased utilization of radial access, Dr. El Hgar is an interventional radiologist who practices in the South and Western Sydney Area Health Districts in New South Wales (NSW) and is affiliated with the University of NSW. His current research interests include utility of hepatic CT angiography and interventional oncology.

Dr. Klass is an interventional radiologist at Vancouver General and UBC Hospitals in Vancouver, Canada, and ThinkRadial interventional radiologist course director. He performed the first transradial radioembolization and chemoembolization of the liver in Canada and is developing a hardware platform for radial access to the liver.

Combining their expertise, Dr. Klass and Dr. El Hgar exposed attendees to a range of radial interventional skills through high-impact didactic presentations, taped cases, angiographic review, and cadaver lab training. Topics such as case selection and preparation, procedural logistics, equipment selection, technical skills, and the troubleshooting and managing of complications were also covered.

During the course, physicians were able to gain familiarity with the most commonly encountered scenarios in transradial intervention and increase their overall skill set.

“[The course was] well resourced, very professional, comprehensive, exhaustive, and informative,” describes Dr. Albert C. C. Goh, interventional radiologist at Sydney Medical Interventions and ThinkRadial course attendee. “I would not hesitate to recommend.”

From Maastricht and Salt Lake City to the more recent Vancouver, Mombasa, Zaragoza, and Nairobi, the addition of Melbourne to the increasing number of ThinkRadial course locations is a sign that the demand for immersive radial educational opportunities is growing.

Statistics show radial adoption rates are on the rise. According to Dr. Klass, in the United Kingdom, the rate of transradial use in 2010 was at 50% of PCI cases; that number grew to 86% by 2016. France and countries throughout Asia have a radial access usage rate of about 80%.1 Statistics show transradial use within the interventional radiology community is not as frequent.2 One of the main reasons cited for underuse outside the cardiac catheterization laboratory is a lack of appropriate training.2

To advance the practice of transradial intervention, Merit is committed to sponsoring high-quality training programs throughout the globe. Where will we be next?

Visit thinkradial.com for future course dates and locations.


  1. Fornell, D. (2016, May 27). Radial access adoption in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.dicardiology.com/article/radial-access-adoption-united-states
  2. Fischman, A. M., Swinburne, N. C., & Patel, R. S. (2015). A technical guide describing the use of transradial access technique for endovascular interventions. Tech Vasc Interv Radiol, Jun;18(2):58-65