What is it?

Subclavian steal syndrome is a constellation of signs and symptoms that arise from retrograde (reversed) blood flow in the vertebral artery or the internal thoracic artery, due to a proximal stenosis (narrowing) and/or occlusion of the subclavian artery. This flow reversal is called the subclavian steal or subclavian steal phenomenon, regardless of signs/symptoms being present. The arm may be supplied by blood flowing in a retrograde direction down the vertebral artery at the expense of the vertebrobasilar circulation. It is more severe than typical vertebrobasilar insufficiency.

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Signs & symptoms

The evaluation for this condition includes:
* Doppler ultrasound of subclavian steal phenomenon
* Doppler ultrasound
* CT angiography


* Presyncope or Syncope
* Neurologic deficits
* Blood pressure differential between the arms
* severe memory problems
* hands showing circulation problems (hands can have blotchy patches of red and white) (associated with other stigmata of vascular disease (e.g. vascular insufficiency ulcers of the fingers).


Management for this condition includes:
* Carotid subclavian bypass
* Stent and balloon angioplasty
* Endarterectomy

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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