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April 1990

Vertebral Artery Pseudoaneurysm: A Rare Complication of Subclavian Artery Catheterization

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Amaral, Grigoriev, and Carney) and Radiology (Dr Dorfman), The Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(4):546-547. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410160134026

• The present case report details a previously unreported complication of subclavian vein catheterization, vertebral artery pseudoaneurysm. Attention to this problem was brought about in the patient by the development of stridor and dysphagia noted 5 days following placement of the subclavian catheter. A computed tomographic scan of the neck revealed a superior mediastinal, contrast-enhancing mass in the region of the right subclavian artery with a "bull's-eye" sign suggestive of a pseudoaneurysm. Arteriography subsequently proved the pseudoaneurysm to be of vertebral origin. The pseudoaneurysm was ligated via a neck incision together with a median sternotomy to obtain vascular control. The evaluation and treatment options of this problem are discussed.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:546-547)