Cardiology 2002 ;97(4):175-9
Heart Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel.
The long-term patency of the left internal mammary artery (IMA) has made it the preferred conduit for myocardial revascularization. The proximal segment of the subclavian artery becomes functionally connected to the coronary circulation as a result of IMA implantation during coronary artery bypass surgery. The subclavian coronary steal syndrome results from stenosis in the left subclavian artery proximal to the IMA, compromising blood flow to the myocardium. We describe 7 patients, aged 55-75 years, 1.7-10.5 years after coronary bypass who presented with recurrent angina due to subclavian artery stenosis. The IMA graft was found open in each patient. A true steal mechanism was not demonstrated, casting doubt on the syndrome's traditional name. Angioplasty and stenting of the subclavian artery resulted in the immediate disappearance of angina and continuous benefit at a follow-up of 3-32 months. The subclavian coronary steal syndrome, although rare, is a severe condition readily treated by angioplasty and stenting.