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subclavian steal


Definition: obstruction of the subclavian artery proximal to the origin of the vertebral artery; blood flow through the vertebral artery is reversed and the subclavian artery thus “steals” cerebral blood, causing symptoms of vertebrobasilar insufficiency (subclavian steal syndrome); manifested during vigorous use of an upper extremity.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.