Endovascular treatment of penetrating thoracic outlet arterial injuries
Objectives: to establish the feasibility of stent-graft treatment of penetrating thoracic outlet arterial injuries. Design: prospective study. Materials and methods: forty-one patients with penetrating injuries to the carotid, subclavian and proximal axillary arteries admitted between August 1998 and May 1999 were studied. Patients requiring urgent surgical exploration for active bleeding (n = 26) were excluded. Remaining patients underwent arteriography to assess suitability for stent-graft placement. After successful stent-graft treatment clinical and sonographic follow-up were done at 1 month and thereafter 3-monthly. Results: of the 15 patients considered, 10 patients qualified for stentgraft treatment (seven male, three female, mean age 27 years). The vessels involved were subclavian artery (seven), carotid artery (two) and axillary artery (one). Seven had arteriovenous fistulae and three, pseudoaneurysms. Stent-graft treatment was successful in all 10 patients with no procedure-related complications. On mean follow-up of 7 months no complications were encountered. Conclusion: endovascular treatment shows promise as a treatment modality for thoracic outlet arterial injuries. Long-term follow-up is required for comparison to the results of standard surgical repair.