Exercise-based functional recovery from severe upper extremity arterial disease due to bilateral subclavian artery obstruction in a person with giant cell arteritis


We report the case of a 71-year-old woman diagnosed with giant cell arteritis with bilateral subclavian and axillary obstruction and severe arm claudication that occurred 3 months earlier and was nonregressed after corticosteroids. Before possible revascularization, the patient was initiated to a personalized home-based graded exercise program including walking, hand-bike pedaling and muscle strength training. During the 9 months of treatment, the patient progressively improved radial pressure values (10 to 85mmHg), hand temperature values by infrared-thermography (+2.1 °C), arm endurance and forearm muscle oxygenation by near-infrared spectroscopy. Home-based graded exercise proved to be a noninvasive option for upper limb claudication.

Journal of Vascular Surgery Cases, Innovations and Techniques