In a ten year period, 36 patients were treated surgically for embolic occlusion of upper limb vessels. The sources of embolus were cardiac (58%), peripheral aneurysm (22%) and unknown (20%). Brachial embolectomy was performed in all cases. Six out of eight peripheral aneurysms were resected. A patency rate of 94% was achieved at five years. Hospital mortality and morbidity rates were 3% and 10%, respectively. One patient died of a myocardial infarct one week postoperatively. Three patients suffered ischemic contracture or amputation; all three presented after 36 hours. We conclude that upper limb emboli are usually easy to recognize and treat. Prompt surgery (< 24 hours) produces the most satisfactory results. Late presentation or delay in treatment can result in limb loss.
- brachial embolectomy
- peripheral vascular disease
- upper limb embolus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine