In 2015 a meta-analysis found that when an ultrasound was used during a radial arterial catheter placement the first pass success rate improved. In the eleven trials that met inclusion criteria over 800 patients were enrolled. Compared to the palpation-guided placement, the ultrasound-guided technique was associated with a 47% improvement. Also, the ultrasound-guided technique showed significant improvement in the first-attempt success rate. Adults and pediatric patients both benefit from the ultrasound-guided technique.
Although the use of an ultrasound requires more setup time the higher success rates justify the use. In addition to an improved overall and first-pass success rate, ultrasound-guided radial artery line placement also improves patient satisfaction by requiring fewer attempts.