VOLUME 33 - NUMBER 11-12 - 2012

Arterial entrapment syndrome in the cubital fossa: a rare cause of acute stress-related arterial thrombosis in a patient with brachial artery duplication

  • De Santis F., Martini G., Decaminada N., Mani G.
  • Clinical practice, 383-386
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  • Arterial entrapment syndrome (AES) at elbow level is very rare and to our knowledge no case of AES by lacertus fibrosus in the cubital fossa in presence of brachial artery duplication has been described to date. We describe a rare case of acute arterial thrombosis of one of two brachial arteries highlighted in the cubital fossa which developed after strenuous right elbow flexor muscle activity and hyper-extensions presumably related to AES by lacertus fibrosus at elbow level. A 43-year-old right-handed woman, experienced paleness, coldness and numbness of the right hand, after 8 consecutive hours of gardening. As she worked, her ipsilateral flexor elbow muscles remained in prolonged and inappropriate tension. Clinical examination evidenced the absence of radial artery pulse in the wrist and mild hypothermia in the second and third finger. During surgical exploration two anastomosed brachial arteries were detected in the cubital fossa under the lacertus fibrosus. The lateral superficial brachial artery was occluded. Intraoperative arteriography evidenced brachial artery duplication at the third superior of the arm and normal vascular pattern at the forearm level. In cases of unexplained atypical intermittent upper extremity claudication or acute ischemic symptoms an AES should always be ruled out, particularly when symptoms are exacerbated by strenuous upper extremity activity or when upper limb muscular hypertrophy is evident. In these cases a thorough dynamic clinical and instrumental examination is mandatory to confirm a diagnosis of AES and to avoid possible future ischemic complications.

  • KEY WORDS: Arterial entrapment syndrome - Brachial artery anomalies - Stress-related acute arterial thrombosis - Surgery.