Subclavian arteritis and pseudoaneurysm formation secondary to stent infection


Technically uncomplicated percutaneous angioplasty and stent placement of a left subclavian artery stenosis was performed in a 56-year-old man for treatment of subclavian steal syndrome and vertebrobasilar insufficiency. Six days later the patient was readmitted with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia and stigmata of septic emboli isolated to the ipsilateral hand. Nine days later he had computed tomography (CT) evidence of a contrast-enhancing phlegmon surrounding the stent. Despite clinical improvement and resolution of bacteremia on intravenous antibiotic therapy, the phlegmon progressed, and at day 21 a pseudoaneurysm was angio-graphically confirmed. The patient underwent surgical removal of the stented arterial segment and successful autogenous arterial reconstruction. The possible contributory factors leading to stent infection were prolonged right femoral artery access and an infected left arm venous access. Although the role of prophylactic antibiotics remains to be defined, it may be important in cases where the vascular access sheath remains in place for a prolonged period of time.


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