• During the past 20 years, 163 patients had 194 operations for obliterative arterial disease of the upper extremity. Of these, 68 had neurological symptoms primarily that were associated with arterial obstruction of the first portion of the subclavian artery. The remaining 95 patients had ischemic symptoms of the upper extremity, namely, intermittent claudication of the arm or ischemic necrosis of the fingers. There were 95 procedures performed on 90 patients with diminished or absent brachial blood pressures. There were 89 cervical sympathectomies performed on patients whose brachial pressures were equal to the contralateral arm. When sympathectomy was done, results were excellent in patients who had a rise in skin temperature confirmed preoperatively by reflex vasodilation studies. An aggressive approach with early diagnostic arteriography and appropriate surgical therapy is indicated in patients with ischemia to the upper extremity.
(Arch Surg 1981;116:1593-1596)