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J Endovasc Ther. 2012 Feb;19(1):44-51. doi: 10.1583/11-3692.1.

Endovascular stenting vs. extrathoracic surgical bypass for symptomatic subclavian steal syndrome.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, XuanWu Hospital, and Institute of Vascular Surgery, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



To analyze the immediate and long-term outcomes of endovascular stenting vs. extrathoracic surgical bypass for subclavian steal syndrome.


From 1989 to 2010, 252 consecutive patients (173 men; mean age 62 years) with vertebrobasilar and upper extremity symptoms of subclavian steal were treated with balloon-expandable stents (n=148) or extrathoracic surgical bypasses (n=104: 71 axilloaxillary and 33 carotid-subclavian) using polytetrafluoroethylene grafts.


The technical success rate was 97.3% in the stent group vs. 99.0% for the bypass group (p=0.605). There was no perioperative mortality or any permanent neurological deficit in either group. The overall perioperative complication rate was 6.1% in the stent group vs. 9.6% in the bypass group (p=0.295). The 10-year target vessel revascularization rate was 46.6% for stenting vs. 5.8% for bypass (p<0.001). The cumulative primary patency rates at 1, 3, 5, and 10 years were 91%, 78%, 67%, and 49% for the stent group vs. 99%, 97%, 95%, and 89% for the bypass group (p<0.001). The cumulative secondary patency rates were 95%, 91%, 86%, and 64%, respectively, for the stent group vs. 99%, 99%, 98%, and 94% for the bypass group (p=0.001). No difference was detected in overall survival curves between the groups (p=0.527).


Both endovascular stenting and extrathoracic surgical bypass are safe and effective treatments for subclavian steal syndrome in the short and medium term; however, extrathoracic surgical bypasses are more durable in the long term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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