Radiation-related arterial disease

Tony Katras, Ulises Baltazar, Kyle Colvett, Daniel Rush, Julie Dunn, Paul Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Arterial occlusive disease has been recognized in association with radiation arteriopathy and, rarely, with spontaneous arterial disruption. This association results from the greater role of radiation therapy in the current management of malignant diseases coupled with longer patient survival and the lengthy latency period between radiation and clinical manifestations of radiation arteriopathy. Experience with six patients having radiation- associated arterial disease was retrospectively reviewed. There were four men and two women, with a mean age of 51 years (range, 36-74). Arteries exposed to radiation include two carotids, three subclavians, one coronary, and one femoral. The time from radiation therapy until clinical arterial disease was a mean of 14.3 years (range, 4-30). Operative repairs with polytetrafluoroethylene and saphenous vein bypass grafts were performed in four patients, stent placement in one patient, and one patient had spontaneous carotid disruption that ultimately was treated with ligation. In conclusion, elective bypass can be performed safely and successfully for aterial occlusive disease in a previously irradiated artery. In contrast, life-threatening arterial disruption secondary to radiation arteriopathy usually requires concomitant exposure to a source of bacterial contamination, and ligation may be the best choice to prevent recurrent hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1176-1179
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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