True brachial artery aneurysm: A systematic review

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Objective: To identify and critically appraise literature on true brachial artery aneurysm, exploring its demographic characteristics, aetiologies, clinical manifestations and different methods of repair along with complication rates to determine future treatment strategies.
Methods: The systematic review was conducted at Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, from September 30, 2021, to November 30, 2022, in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Literature was searched on MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases for relevant studies in English language or with English translation published till May 31, 2022. The key words used for the search were "brachial artery aneurysm". Data was noted on a proforma and was subjected to descriptive analysis.
Results: Of 113 articles, 6 (5.3%) were retrospective studies, 7 (6.1%) were case series and 100 (88.4%) were case reports. The total number of patients involved was 157 with mean age 43.1±23.4 years (range: 2 months to 84 years). The gender was mentioned for 152(96.8%) patients; 111(73%) males and 41(27%) females. The mean diameter of true brachial artery aneurysm was 36.2 ±17.5mm and 106(67.5%) patients presented with localised swelling, 65(41.4%) with pain, 41(26.1%) with distal ischaemic symptoms, and 28(17.8%) with median nerve compression. True brachial artery aneurysms were more common in renal failure patients having a history of arteriovenous fistula creation in the affected limb and were on immunosuppressant drugs due to renal transplant 81(51.5%). Less common causes included primary/idiopathic 27(17.1%), trauma 13(8.2%), connective tissue disorders 8(5%) and vasculitis 7(4.5%). The treatment of choice was aneurysmectomy in 142(90.4%) cases, with revascularisation of limb primarily with reversed great saphenous vein graft 79(50.3 %), followed by end-to-end anastomosis of brachial artery 17(10.8%) and synthetic grafting 17(10.8%). Endovascular intervention was performed in 6(3.8%) cases to exclude true brachial artery aneurysm, and to re-establish adequate blood flow to the associated limb.
Conclusion: True brachial artery aneurysm, although a rarity, may lead to significant neurological and vascular problems if ignored. Arteriovenous fistula and immunosuppression are identified as two significant risk factors in the development of true brachial artery aneurysm. Therefore, an effective long-term follow up in renal failure patients is recommended to prevent its complications. Open surgical repair has been the most preferred mode of treatment, but further significant studies are needed to explore and compare different modes of surgical intervention, like open versus endovascular, to plan future treatment strategies.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association