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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Thoracic outlet syndrome

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Thoracic outlet compression syndrome
  • TOS
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Overview

Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to the many signs and symptoms caused from compression of the group of nerves and blood vessels in the area just above the first rib and behind the clavicle. The term thoracic outlet syndrome is not a specific diagnosis, but refers to a group of conditions, namely neurogenic (nTOS), venous (vTOS), and arterial thoracic outlet syndrome (aTOS). While collectively TOS is not thought to be rare, individual sub-types may be. The most common type (95% of cases) is nTOS which is caused from brachial plexus compression.  Symptoms of nTOS include shoulder and arm numbness, abnormal sensations and weakness. vTOS may cause deep vein thrombosis and swelling; and aTOS can cause blood clots, arm pain with exertion, or acute arterial thrombosis (sudden blood flood obstruction in an artery). Diagnosis of TOS can be very difficult and diagnosis is often delayed. Treatment depends on the type of TOS and may include physical therapy, thoracic outlet decompression, thrombolysis or other procedures.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 8/11/2015

References

  1. NINDS Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). December 2011; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/thoracic/thoracic.htm. Accessed 1/26/2012.
  2. Goshima K. Overview of thoracic outlet syndrome. In: Basow, DS (Ed). UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; July 15, 2014; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-thoracic-outlet-syndromes. Accessed 8/11/2015.
  3. Geneal Features of TOS. Center of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. http://tos.wustl.edu/What-is-TOS/General-Features-of-TOS. Accessed 8/11/2015.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

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  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Thoracic outlet syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Thoracic outlet compression syndrome
  • TOS
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.