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January 1963

Subclavian Steal Syndrome

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;69(1):2-3. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960040008002

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Atherosclerotic occlusion of an internal carotid artery with blackouts or blindness in one eye and paresthesias or hemiplegia in the contralateral extremities is now a well-recognized syndrome of interest to ophthalmologists, neurologists, and internists—as well as to the patient. Another manifestation of block to the feeding arteries of the brain with visual manifestations is what has been called the subclavian steal syndrome. Although identified for the first time only about one year ago, and so far documented in only about a dozen patients, the initial report by Reivich et al. in the New England Journal of Medicine was so comprehensive that one can have little doubt of the hemodynamics involved. There remain only the questions of its frequency and the permutations of its clinical manifestations.

In the subclavian steal syndrome one subclavian artery is obstructed shortly after it leaves the arch of the aorta, that is, after the common

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