Cancer chemotherapy has been associated with hypercoagulability, causing thromboembolic complications. Three unusual and strikingly similar cases of upper-extremity arterial thromboembolism were encountered in women undergoing chemotherapy following surgical treatment for breast carcinoma. In all cases, previously asymptomatic stenosis of the subclavian artery due to extrinsic cause was suspected as the source of distal thromboembolism. These cases illustrate the interplay between transient hypercoagulability and underlying arterial disease in the pathogenesis of arterial thromboembolism.
(Arch Surg. 1995;130:224-226)