Isolation of the right subclavian artery with subclavian steal in a child with Klippel-Feil anomaly: an example of the subclavian artery supply disruption sequence

Am J Med Genet. 1987 Apr;26(4):933-40. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320260424.


We studied a patient with Klippel-Feil anomaly and subclavian steal due to isolation of the right subclavian artery. Other anomalies included hypoplasia of the right clavicle and right vertebral artery, low bifurcation of the left common carotid artery and left choanal atresia. The patient was mentally retarded with corticospinal, cerebellar, and brain stem signs. The entire brain and cervical spinal cord were small; there was no central nervous system malformation, hydrocephalus, or bony impingement on neural structures. Embryologic vascular disorders have been found to be responsible for various congenital systemic and neurologic anomalies such as intestinal atresia and hydranencephaly. Subclavian artery supply disruption sequence has been hypothesized to result in Klippel-Feil, Poland, and Möbius anomalies. In this case the vertebral and facial abnormalities may well be related to anomalous subclavian and carotid supply. An embryonic vascular "steal" has been thought to cause the sirenomelia anomaly. We postulate that the subclavian steal, during the embryonic period, may have been responsible for the small size of this patient's cerebral hemispheres, brain stem, cerebellum, and cervical spinal cord.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Klippel-Feil Syndrome / complications
  • Klippel-Feil Syndrome / embryology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Radiography
  • Subclavian Artery / abnormalities*
  • Subclavian Steal Syndrome / complications*