James F. Toole, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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Two years ago a new syndrome caused by focal stenosis or occlusion of the proximal portion of the subclavian artery was first described. In this subclavian steal syndrome, as it has been called, blood flows in retrograde fashion from the brain to the arm to produce signs and symptoms of cerebral vascular insufficiency. This occurs because a focal lesion of either subclavian artery proximal to the origin of the vertebral artery reduces or inverts the normal pressure gradient which propels blood through it in a cephalic direction to produce a siphoning or shunt from brain to skeletal muscle.
Toole JF. Reversed Vertebral Flow (Subclavian Steal) Syndrome.. Ann Intern Med. 1964;60:713. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-60-4-713_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(4):713.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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