Purpose: To compare the early and long-term outcomes of subclavian artery angioplasty in patients with aortoarteritis and atherosclerosis.
Methods: Sixty-one subclavian artery angioplasties were performed in 55 consecutive patients with aortoarteritis (n = 32) and atherosclerosis (n = 23) between 1986 and 1995. An arch aortogram followed by a selective subclavian artery angiogram was done to profile the site and extent of the lesion, its relation to the vertebral artery, and the distal circulation. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) was performed via the femoral route for 56 stenotic lesions and 5 total occlusions.
Results: PTA was successful in 52 (92.8%) stenotic lesions and 3 (60%) total occlusions. Three patients (5.4%) had complications, that could be effectively managed nonsurgically. Compared with atherosclerosis, patients with aortoarteritis were younger (27.4 +/- 9.3 years vs 54.5 +/- 10.5 years; p < 0.001), more often female (75% vs 17.4%; p < 0.001), gangrene was uncommon (0% vs 17.4%; p < 0.05), and diffuse involvement was seen more often (43.8% vs 4.4%; p < 0.001). The luminal diameter stenoses were similar before PTA (88.6 +/- 9.7% vs 89.0 +/- 9.1%; p = NS). Higher balloon inflation pressure was required to dilate the lesions of aortoarteritis (9.9 +/- 4.6 ATM vs 5.5 +/- 1.0 ATM; p < 0.001). This group had more residual stenosis (15.5 +/- 12.4% vs 8.3 +/- 9.4%; p < 0.05) after PTA. There were no neurological sequelae, even in PTA of prevertebral lesions. On 3-120 months (mean 43.3 +/- 28.9 months) follow-up of 40 patients, restenosis was more often observed in patients with aortoarteritis, particularly in those with diffuse arterial narrowing. These lesions could be effectively redilated. Clinical symptoms showed marked improvement after successful angioplasty.
Conclusion: Subclavian PTA is safe and can be performed as effectively in aortoarteritis as in atherosclerosis, with good long-term results. Long-term follow-up shows that it provides good symptomatic relief.