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J Vasc Surg. 1988 Apr;7(4):487-94.

Diffuse arterial narrowing as a result of intimal proliferation: a delayed complication of embolectomy with the Fogarty balloon catheter.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.


Most complications of embolectomy with the Fogarty balloon catheter are recognized early and have received ample attention in the surgical and radiologic literature. However, the delayed complication of diffuse arterial narrowing causing severe ischemia has received little emphasis, perhaps because follow-up arteriography is not always performed. This report describes five patients--women 43 to 62 years of age--with progressive leg ischemia discovered 2 to 4 months after embolectomy with the balloon catheter. Angiography showed a characteristic pattern of severe, smooth narrowing of that portion of the artery in which balloon embolectomy was performed. Pathologic examination of arterial specimens, available in two of the five patients, revealed marked intimal cellular proliferation, which narrowed the arteries severely without evidence of thrombosis, significant atheromatosis, or active arteritis. The cause appears to be intimal damage by the balloon. Embolectomy with the balloon catheter should be done especially carefully in relatively young women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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