Objectives. This study addresses the efficacy of directional atherectomy in the subclavian artery for the relief of angina in patients with the coronary-subclavian steal syndrome. In addition, we review the histologic findings from the atherectomy specimens. Background. The coronary-subclavian steal syndrome may occur after internal mammary-coronary artery bypass grafting. It is due to a stenosis in the subclavian artery proximal to the origin of the internal mammary artery and causes frank ischemia to the area supplied by the graft. Currently, surgery is the corrective procedure of choice. Methods. In three patients with severe subclavian artery stenoses and unstable angina, directional atherectomy was performed using a peripheral atherectomy catheter through a percutaneous femoral approach. The patients ranged from 43 to 71 years of age and had undergone internal mammary-coronary artery bypass grafting 3 to 10 years previously. Each patient had severe peripheral vascular and cerebrovascular disease. Results. All three patients had immediate symptomatic relief after the atherectomy, and postprocedure exercise testing demonstrated improved cardiac function. Two patients remain asymptomatic at 7 and 8 months, respectively; the third patient developed unstable angina 9 months later because of severe restenosis that was again successfully treated with atherectomy. Histologic examination of the specimens revealed atherosclerotic plaque, occasionally with adventitia. The specimen from the repeat atherectomy snowed severe intimal hyperplasia. Conclusions. Directional atherectomy appears to be a safe and effective treatment for coronary-subclavian steal syndrome. This procedure may be the treatment of choice for patients in whom a vascular bypass operation is not feasible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine