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November 1981

Alternatives in the Management of Atherosclerotic Occlusive Disease of Aortic Arch Branches

Arch Surg. 1981;116(11):1457-1460. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380230071011

• The cases of 62 patients with atherosclerotic occlusive disease at the origin of the aortic arch branches were reviewed. Thirty-six were initially without neurologic symptoms and in four (11%) intermittent neurologic symptoms without stroke developed during an average follow-up of 27 months. No patient had limb-threatening ischemia. Twenty-six operations were performed for neurologic symptoms or disabling limb ischemia, with one death. Five-year graft patency by life-table analysis was 81%. Preoperative or late postoperative stroke in three patients with occluded common carotid artery suggests this to be a more dangerous subgroup. We advise surgery for patients with disabling arm symptoms or with ischemic neurologic symptoms associated with multiple-vessel disease or with major lesions in the innominate-carotid circulation. We advocate selective revascularization with priority given to the innominate-carotid flow. Isolated subclavian lesions first seen as a single lesion or as the only residual lesion after reconstruction for multiple-vessel disease can be safely left unreconstructed.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:1457-1460)