True brachial artery aneurysm: A case report and review of literature

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2020 Jun 12:56:23-27. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2020.06.011. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Introduction: A true brachial artery aneurysm is a rare pathology with an incidence of 0.17% of all peripheral artery aneurysms. This pathology can manifest devastating complications if overlooked, however, a high index of suspicion coupled with a thorough history and physical allows easy diagnosis. We present a rare case of the oldest documented patient with a true brachial artery aneurysm with idiopathic etiology.

Presentation of case: An 83-year-old gentleman presented with left upper extremity pain, erythema, and swelling for 1 week. He denied trauma to the area. Examination revealed a pulsatile mass of the antecubital fossa and decreased distal pulses. Imaging illustrated a 9mm aneurysm of the brachial artery with stenosis of the radial artery and non-enhancement of the origin of the ulnar artery. The patient underwent a brachial aneurysm excision, radial and ulnar embolectomy, and brachial to ulnar and radial artery bypass. Postoperatively, palpable pulses were appreciated in the radial and ulnar arteries. Pathology demonstrated a true aneurysm. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful and follow-up 6 months later revealed normal perfusion.

Discussion: This case highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion coupled with a thorough history and physical examination when encountering neurovascular complaints of the upper extremities. Operative intervention even in asymptomatic patients is warranted due to a high complication rate of 33%.

Conclusion: More research into the pathophysiology of this rare pathology is needed to further understand, prevent, or mitigate its complications.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Brachial artery; Peripheral artery aneurysm; True brachial artery aneurysm.

Publication types

  • Case Reports