Unsuspected subclavian or axillary disease may cause failure of axillofemoral bypass grafts. A 52-year-old woman who underwent left axillofemoral bypass grafting 5 years ago presented with 24 h of left foot pain. Routine duplex ultrasonography 2 months previously demonstrated velocities throughout the graft >80 cm/s. Emergent angiography revealed thrombotic occlusion of the axillofemoral bypass graft. Both rheolytic thrombectomy and pulse spray thrombolysis using tissue plasminogen activator were used to restore graft patency. Arterial pressure waveform and pressure remained damped throughout the graft; a 50 mmHg gradient was found from the descending thoracic aorta to the mid-left subclavian artery. Angiography revealed a 70% diameter stenosis at the origin of the left subclavian artery. Following balloon angioplasty and stent placement, the pressure gradient was eliminated. In conclusion, careful evaluation of arterial inflow to bypass grafts is critical for ensuring long-term graft patency.
- Axillofemoral bypass graft
- Extra-anatomic bypass graft
- Subclavian artery stenosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine