Endovascular management of axillo-subclavian arterial injury: a review of published experience

Injury. 2012 Nov;43(11):1785-92. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.08.028. Epub 2012 Aug 22.


Background: The role of endovascular treatment for vascular trauma, including injury to the subclavian and axillary arteries, continues to evolve. Despite growing experience with the utilization of these techniques in the setting of artherosclerotic and aneurysmal disease, published reports in traumatic subclavian and axillary arterial injuries remain confined to sporadic case reports and case series.

Methods: We conducted a review of the medical literature from 1990 to 2012 using Pubmed and OVID Medline databases to search for all reports documenting the use of endovascular stenting for the treatment of subclavian or axillary artery injuries. Thirty-two published reports were identified. Individual manuscripts were analysed to abstract data regarding mechanism, location and type of injury, endovascular technique and endograft type utilized, follow-up, and radiographic and clinical outcomes.

Results: The use of endovascular stenting for the treatment of subclavian (150) or axillary (10) artery injuries was adequately described for only 160 patients from 1996 to the present. Endovascular treatment was employed after penetrating injury (56.3%; 29 GSW; 61 SW), blunt trauma (21.3%), iatrogenic catheter-related injury (21.8%) and surgical injury (0.6%). Injuries treated included pseudoaneurysm (77), AV fistula (27), occlusion (16), transection (8), perforation (22), dissection (6), or other injuries otherwise not fully described (4). Initial endovascular stent placement was successful in 96.9% of patients. Radiographic and clinical follow-up periods ranging from hospital discharge to 70 months revealed a follow-up patency of 84.4%. No mortalities related to endovascular intervention were reported. New neurologic deficits after the use of endovascular modalities were reported in only one patient.

Conclusion: Endovascular treatment of traumatic subclavian and axillary artery injuries continues to evolve. Early results are promising, but experience with this modality and data on late follow-up remain limited. Additional multicenter prospective study and capture of data for these patients is warranted to further define the role of this treatment modality in the setting of trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Axillary Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Axillary Artery / injuries*
  • Axillary Artery / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Catheterization / methods
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Stents / statistics & numerical data
  • Subclavian Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Artery / injuries*
  • Subclavian Artery / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery*
  • Young Adult