ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Thromboembolic occlusion of upper extremity arteries
Muzaffer Bahçivan, Atilla Sarac, M. Kemal Demirağ, Onur Doyurgan, Ferşat Kolbakır, Tahsin Keçeligil
Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Kalp ve Damar Cerrahisi Anabilim Dalı, Samsun
Background: We evaluated the thromboembolic arterial occlusion of upper extremity and discussed the current treatment methods.

Methods: Between January 1984 and January 2006, a total of 184 patients (103 males, 81 females; mean age 62.2±12.6 years; range 6 to 83 years) that were admitted with pain, cyanosis, coldness and loss of function of upper extremity were evaluated retrospectively. The earliest and latest time of admission were four hours and eight days, respectively, and mean time was 28 hours. The arterial occlusion was on the right upper extremity in 111 cases, it was on the left side in 73 cases, and it was bilateral in two cases.

Results: Embolectomy was necessary in half of 24 patients who were treated medically. Eight patients received systemic thrombolytic therapy but three of them needed surgical embolectomy. Other 150 patients underwent embolectomy. Re-embolectomy was done for 23 cases as a result of recurrent ischemia. One hundred fourty two patients were discharged without any complication. Hospital mortality and amputation rates were 6.0% and 4.34%, respectively.

Conclusion: Different from the chronic occlusions of upper extremity arterial system, acute thromboembolic arterial occlusions may cause loss of extremity. But, early diagnosis and treatment methods help us to reach minimum morbidity and mortality rates. In addition, the investigation of etiologic factors and application of prophylactic methods will decrease the risk of embolic occlusion.

Keywords : Arteries; embolectomy; thromboembolism/surgery; upper extremity
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