Gender related differences in predictors of vascular complications: role of vessel size and BMI. Academic Article uri icon


  • Women undergoing cardiac catheterization have an increased risk of vascular complications (VC) compared to men. Whether this is due to gender differences in common femoral artery (CFA) anatomy remains unknown. Therefore, we examined angiographic features of CFA to identify differences in predictors of VC between the genders. A case control study design enrolled 59 (30 women and 29 men) consecutive patients with VC and 59 age, gender and procedure matched controls from 2004 to 2009. VC were defined as hematoma >6 cm, any access site related bleeding requiring transfusion or injury requiring mechanical intervention. Quantitative angiography was performed on all femoral angiograms. Univariate and multivariate regression was performed to define clinical and angiographic predictors of VC. Among all patients, cases had significantly lower BMI than controls (28.4 ± 7.7 vs. 32.0 ± 6.7, p ≤ 0.01) and were more than twice likely to have CFA reference vessel diameter <5.5 mm (p = 0.04). This finding was entirely driven by the inverse relationship between BMI, CFA and VC among women. On multivariate analysis, BMI was a potent predictor of VC (OR 0.94; 95 % CI 0.89-0.99; p = 0.04). When comparing men and women, BMI and CFA size were predictors of VC among women only. Among men, site of arteriotomy and diabetes mellitus predicted risk of VC. Smaller BMI correlates with smaller CFA diameter and both are predictive of increased risk of VC. This may explain the female predisposition to VC. Risk stratification for bleeding and VC should address these gender specific findings.

publication date

  • July 2013