Subclavian artery aneurysms: management implications in a resource-limited setting
Subclavian artery (SA) aneurysms (SCAA) are relatively uncommon but carry a significant risk of rupture, thrombosis and embolism if left untreated. We describe the etiology, mode of presentation and outcome of surgical management of 10 patients presenting with SCAA between January 1990 and December 2010. The mean age was 43.7 years. There were seven men and three women. Five patients had aneurysms due to trauma, four had it due to thoracic outlet syndrome and one had it secondary to atherosclerosis. Five patients presented with ischemic symptoms of the distal upper extremity, while the rest presented with a pulsatile neck mass. All patients were treated surgically. Six patients were approached with combined supra- and infraclavicular incisions. Aneurysm resection with reconstruction using saphenous vein or synthetic grafts was done in eight patients. There was no perioperative mortality. The early patency rate was 100%. Surgical treatment is effective and recommended for most patients with SCAA.