Endovascular procedures require access to the inside of an artery. A small hole is made in the artery at the groin, and a catheter is guided along to the site of interest. Once the procedure is complete, the hole in the artery must be closed and the bleeding stopped (haemostasis). Traditionally, the main method of closing the artery is compression, during which up to 30 minutes of manual pressure or mechanical clamps is applied directly to the patient's groin. This manual pressure can be painful and requires up to eight hours of bedrest. The process of closing the artery can lead to complications such as damage to the artery and bleeding, ranging from minor to life-threatening. Pressure applied to the artery also affects the nearby vein and may cause blood clots (deep vein thrombosis). Vascular closure devices (VCDs) are designed to close the hole and stop bleeding. VCDs were developed in the 1990s in an attempt to reduce the time to stop bleeding, to enable earlier walking after a procedure and to improve patient comfort. Four main types of VCDs are based on the material used: collagen plugs, suture-based, disc-based and metal clips. No consensus has been reached on the effectiveness of VCDs in reducing procedure time, length of stay or time to mobilisation, and it is unknown whether they confer a cost benefit when compared with compression.
This review measures the effectiveness and safety of these VCDs compared with one other and with manual or mechanical compression. After searching for relevant studies, we found 52 studies with a combined total of 19,192 participants (current until April 2015). Studies compared different VCDs with manual or mechanical compression and/or with one other. The main measures of effectiveness were time to haemostasis and time to mobilisation. The main safety outcomes included adverse events such as bleeding, arterial damage, infection and development of clots in the adjacent vein.
This review showed that for time to haemostasis and time to mobilisation, the studies were too different to be combined in a statistical analysis when VCDs are compared with compression. For safety outcomes, no robust evidence shows that VCDs reduce the number of serious puncture site complications, when compared with manual or mechanical compression. Furthermore, this review showed no difference in effectiveness or safety for one type of VCD versus another, but few studies made these comparisons. Further good quality studies are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Quality of the evidence
For time to haemostasis and time to mobilisation, the studies were too different to be combined and therefore were judged to provide low-quality evidence. The quality of the evidence for the other outcomes was judged as moderate for precision, consistency and directness.
For time to haemostasis, studies comparing collagen-based VCDs and extrinsic compression were too heterogeneous to be combined. However, both metal clip-based and suture-based VCDs were associated with reduced time to haemostasis when compared with extrinsic compression. For time to mobilisation, studies comparing VCDs with extrinsic compression were too heterogeneous to be combined. No difference was demonstrated in the incidence of vascular injury or mortality when VCDs were compared with extrinsic compression. No difference was demonstrated in the efficacy or safety of VCDs with different mechanisms of action. Further work is necessary to evaluate the efficacy of devices currently in use and to compare these with one other and extrinsic compression with respect to clearly defined outcome measures.
Vascular closure devices (VCDs) are widely used to achieve haemostasis after procedures requiring percutaneous common femoral artery (CFA) puncture. There is no consensus regarding the benefits of VCDs, including potential reduction in procedure time, length of hospital stay or time to patient ambulation. No robust evidence exists that VCDs reduce the incidence of puncture site complications compared with haemostasis achieved through extrinsic (manual or mechanical) compression.
To determine the efficacy and safety of VCDs versus traditional methods of extrinsic compression in achieving haemostasis after retrograde and antegrade percutaneous arterial puncture of the CFA.
The Cochrane Vascular Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Specialised Register (April 2015) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2015, Issue 3). Clinical trials databases were searched for details of ongoing or unpublished studies. References of articles retrieved by electronic searches were searched for additional citations.
We included randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials in which people undergoing a diagnostic or interventional procedure via percutaneous CFA puncture were randomised to one type of VCD versus extrinsic compression or another type of VCD.
Two authors independently extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of trials. We resolved disagreements by discussion with the third author. We performed meta-analyses when heterogeneity (I2) was < 90%. The primary efficacy outcomes were time to haemostasis and time to mobilisation (mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence interval (CI)). The primary safety outcome was a major adverse event (mortality and vascular injury requiring repair) (odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI). Secondary outcomes included adverse events.
We included 52 studies (19,192 participants) in the review. We found studies comparing VCDs with extrinsic compression (sheath size ≤ 9 Fr), different VCDs with each other after endovascular (EVAR) and percutaneous EVAR procedures and VCDs with surgical closure after open exposure of the artery (sheath size ≥ 10 Fr). For primary outcomes, we assigned the quality of evidence according to GRADE (Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria as low because of serious imprecision and for secondary outcomes as moderate for precision, consistency and directness.
For time to haemostasis, studies comparing collagen-based VCDs and extrinsic compression were too heterogenous to be combined. However, both metal clip-based (MD -14.81 minutes, 95% CI -16.98 to -12.63 minutes; five studies; 1665 participants) and suture-based VCDs (MD -14.58 minutes, 95% CI -16.85 to -12.32 minutes; seven studies; 1664 participants) were associated with reduced time to haemostasis when compared with extrinsic compression.
For time to mobilisation, studies comparing collagen-, metal clip- and suture-based devices with extrinsic compression were too heterogeneous to be combined. No deaths were reported in the studies comparing collagen-based, metal clip-based or suture-based VCDs with extrinsic compression. For vascular injury requiring repair, meta-analyses demonstrated that neither collagen (OR 2.81, 95% CI 0.47 to 16.79; six studies; 5731 participants) nor metal clip-based VCDs (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.03 to 7.95; three studies; 783 participants) were more effective than extrinsic compression. No cases of vascular injury required repair in the study testing suture-based VCD with extrinsic compression.
Investigators reported no differences in the incidence of infection between collagen-based (OR 2.14, 95% CI 0.88 to 5.22; nine studies; 7616 participants) or suture-based VCDs (OR 1.66, 95% CI 0.22 to 12.71; three studies; 750 participants) and extrinsic compression. No cases of infection were observed in studies testing suture-based VCD versus extrinsic compression. The incidence of groin haematoma was lower with collagen-based VCDs than with extrinsic compression (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.54; 25 studies; 10,247 participants), but no difference was evident when metal clip-based (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.46 to 1.34; four studies; 1523 participants) or suture-based VCDs (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.02; six studies; 1350 participants) were compared with extrinsic compression. The incidence of pseudoaneurysm was lower with collagen-based devices than with extrinsic compression (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.99; 21 studies; 9342 participants), but no difference was noted when metal clip-based (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.20 to 2.89; six studies; 1966 participants) or suture-based VCDs (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.25 to 2.53; six studies; 1527 participants) were compared with extrinsic compression. For other adverse events, researchers reported no differences between collagen-based, clip-based or suture-based VCDs and extrinsic compression.
Limited data were obtained when VCDs were compared with each other. Results of one study showed that metal clip-based VCDs were associated with shorter time to haemostasis (MD -2.24 minutes, 95% CI -2.54 to -1.94 minutes; 469 participants) and shorter time to mobilisation (MD -0.30 hours, 95% CI -0.59 to -0.01 hours; 469 participants) than suture-based devices. Few studies measured (major) adverse events, and those that did found no cases or no differences between VCDs.
Percutaneous EVAR procedures revealed no differences in time to haemostasis (MD -3.20 minutes, 95% CI -10.23 to 3.83 minutes; one study; 101 participants), time to mobilisation (MD 1.00 hours, 95% CI -2.20 to 4.20 hours; one study; 101 participants) or major adverse events between PerClose and ProGlide. When compared with sutures after open exposure, VCD was associated with shorter time to haemostasis (MD -11.58 minutes, 95% CI -18.85 to -4.31 minutes; one study; 151 participants) but no difference in time to mobilisation (MD -2.50 hours, 95% CI -7.21 to 2.21 hours; one study; 151 participants) or incidence of major adverse events.