Article Abstract

Subclavian artery resection and reconstruction for thoracic inlet neoplasms

Authors: Olaf Mercier, Xiao-Dong Su, Benoit Lahon, Sacha Mussot, Dominique Fabre, Alexandra Delemos, Thierry Le Chevalier, Philippe G. Dartevelle, Elie Fadel


Background: To update the long-term outcomes after subclavian artery (SA) resection and reconstruction during surgery for thoracic inlet (TI) cancer through the anterior transclavicular approach.
Methods: Between 1985 and 2014, 85 patients (60 men and 25 women; mean age, 52 years) underwent en bloc resection of thoracic-inlet non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (n=69), sarcoma (n=11), breast carcinoma (n=3) or thyroid carcinoma (n=2) involving the SA. L-shaped transclavicular cervicothoracotomy was performed, with posterolateral thoracotomy in 18 patients or a posterior midline approach in 15 patients. Resection extended to the chest wall (>2 ribs, n=60), lung (n=76), and spine (n=15). Revascularization was by end-to-end anastomosis (n=48), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft interposition (n=28), subclavian-to-common carotid artery transposition (n=8), or grafting of the autologous superficial femoral artery in an anterolateral thigh free flap (n=1). Complete R0 resection was achieved in 75 patients and microscopic R1 resection in 10 patients. Postoperative radiation therapy was given to 51 patients.
Results: There were no cases of postoperative death, neurological sequelae, graft infection or occlusion, or limb ischemia. Postoperative morbidity consisted of pneumonia (n=16), phrenic nerve palsy (n=2), recurrent nerve palsy (n=4), bleeding (n=4), acute pulmonary embolism (n=1), cerebrospinal fluid leakage (n=1), chylothorax (n=1), and wound infection (n=2). Five-year survival and disease-free survival rates were 32% and 22%, respectively. Long-term survival was not observed after R1 resection.
Conclusions: Subclavian arteries invaded by TI malignancies can be safely resected and reconstructed through the anterior transclavicular approach, with good long-term survival provided complete R0 resection is achieved.