During a ten-month period in 1988 at our institution, we identified three infected radial artery pseudoaneurysms (RAPAs) associated with arterial lines. A retrospective chart review to 1983 identified three additional cases, all occurring in 1986. In the six-year period of 1983 through 1988, during which approximately 12,500 radial artery catheters were placed, the incidence of RAPA formation was 6/12,500 (0.048 percent). Five of the six cases were associated with Staphylococcus aureus infection. The duration of radial artery cannulation was significantly longer in patients who developed a pseudoaneurysm (12.5 days) than in those patients who did not suffer this complication (4.3 days). Patients in whom infected RAPAs occurred also tended to be older (mean, 71.6 years) than the average age (54 years) for all patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). They also tended to have long stays in the ICU prior to development of RAPA, the shortest stay being 11 days and the average being 51 days. Risk factors for the development of this complication may include advanced age, longer duration of catheterization and hospitalization, and infection with S aureus.