Subclavian steal in Takayasu's arteritis. A hemodynamic study by means of ultrasonic Doppler flowmetry.
Blood flow in the vertebral artery and the upper extremity was studied in five cases of Takayasu's arteritis with subclavian steal by use of ultrasonic Doppler flowmetry and finger plethysmography. The diagnosis of subclavian steal was made by observation of flow reversal in the vertebral artery on the subclavian steal side during grip exercise and, in addition, the vertebral flow change with brachial artery occlusion. The blood flow increase of both internal cartotid and non-affected (non-subclavian steal side) vertebral arteries during a common carotid compression was almost normal in patients with Takayasu's arteritis in this study. During carotid compression on the side of the subclavian steal, ipsilateral vertebral blood flow greatly decreased, and the amplitude the ipsilateral finger plethysmogram decreased slightly or moderately. It is suggested that there are significantly important factors in suppressing sumptoms of vertebrobasilar ischemia in these patients with Takayasu's arteritis with subclavian steal. These factors are believed to be (1) good function of the circle of Willis, (2) good blood supply to the brain stem, and (3) collateral circulation to the distal subclavian artery not via the vertebral artery.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association