Primary Stenting of Right-Sided Subclavian Artery Stenosis Presenting as Subclavian Steal Syndrome: Report of 3 Cases and Literature Review

Georgios Sahsamanis, Georgios Vourliotakis, Konstantinos Pirgakis, Anastasios Lekkas, Ioannis Kantounakis, Alexandra Terzoglou, Vasileios Tzilalis
Annals of Vascular Surgery 2018, 48: 254.e1-254.e5

BACKGROUND: Right-sided subclavian artery stenosis (SAS) is a rare cerebrovascular disease involving the upper extremities. Considering an endovascular approach for its management requires increased endovascular and catheterization skills when compared with the left side, due to the close approximation of the right subclavian artery origin, vertebral, and common carotid arteries.

METHODS: Three patients suffering from proximal right-sided SAS were treated in our center through primary stenting. Percutaneous transfemoral and transbrachial approaches were used for vascular access, whereas in 2 cases an additional carotid protection device was deployed intraoperatively.

RESULTS: Technical success was met in all 3 cases, with no intraoperative or postoperative complications being observed. All patients resumed ambulation and were uneventfully discharged the next day with dual antiplatelet medication. No recurrent stenosis was reported in duplex ultrasound scan during 6-month follow-up, with all patients reporting resolution of their symptoms.

DISCUSSION: Subclavian artery stenosis is an uncommon vascular disease, showing a 4-fold left, rather than right-sided predisposition. Although a low-grade stenosis is usually asymptomatic and may remain unobserved, a severe stenosis may cause retrograde blood flow in the ipsilateral vertebral artery, leading to a medical condition with various clinical symptoms, known as subclavian steal syndrome. A number of open surgical techniques exist for management of subclavian artery stenosis, although a paradigm shift in the 21st century has led to the introduction of minimally invasive techniques for its treatment, with available modalities including angioplasty, stenting, and the kissing stent technique.

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