OBJECTIVE: A meta-analysis of all randomised controlled studies that compare outcomes of transradial versus the transfemoral route to better define best practice in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). DESIGN: A Medline and Embase search was conducted using the search terms 'transradial,' 'radial', 'STEMI', 'myocardial' and 'infarction'. SETTING: Randomised controlled studies that compare outcomes of transradial versus the transfemoral route. PATIENTS: A total of nine studies were identified that consisted of 2977 patients with STEMI. Interventions Studies that compare outcomes of transradial versus the transfemoral route. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary clinical outcomes of interest were (1) mortality; (2) major adverse cardiac events (MACE); (3) major bleeding and (4) access site complications. RESULTS: Transradial PCI was associated with a reduction in mortality (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.84; p=0.008), MACE (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.90; p=0.012), major bleeding events (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.35-1.12; p=0.12) and access site complications (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.48; p<0.0001) compared with procedures performed through the femoral route. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis demonstrates a significant reduction in mortality, MACE and major access site complications associated with the transradial access site in STEMI. The meta-analysis supports the preferential use of radial access for STEMI PCI.