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Postgrad Med J 79:84-86 doi:10.1136/pmj.79.928.84
  • Review

Brachial plexus injury as an unusual complication of coronary artery bypass graft surgery

  1. A Y Chong1,
  2. C E Clarke2,
  3. W R Dimitri3,
  4. G Y H Lip1
  1. 1University Department of Medicine, City Hospital, Birmingham
  2. 2University Department of Neurology, City Hospital, Birmingham
  3. 3Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor G Y H Lip, University Department of Medicine, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK; 
 g.y.h.lip{at}bham.ac.uk
  • Received 23 July 2002
  • Accepted 25 November 2002

Abstract

Brachial plexus injury is an unusual and under-recognised complication of coronary artery bypass grafting especially when internal mammary artery harvesting takes place. It is believed to be due to sternal retraction resulting in compression of the brachial plexus. Although the majority of cases are transient, there are cases where the injury is permanent and may have severe implications as illustrated in the accompanying case history.

Footnotes