Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Compressive syndromes of the roots or peripheral nerves, mentioned above, were followed by motor and sensitive disorders on the basis of only one nerve. But one more affection exists thoracic outlet syndrome when a multiple compression of nervous structures together with an compression of arteries and venas happen. But it is necessary to stress that nowadays this diagnosis is thought to be much more rare, than it was originally thought.

Anatomical Relations of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Present compression of vascular and nervous structures is called up by adverse anatomical ratios. The compression happens in the triangle border of which is:

forwards m. scalenus anterior

backwards m. scalenus posterior

down 1. rib

In this small space nervous plexus, vena and arteria subclavia go in an intimate closeness, and so at constriction of this space a present compression of all these structures happens.


Etiology of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Causes of thoracic outlet syndrome are all the processes which reduce this triangle:

hypertrophy of m. scalenus anterior

anomaly of cervical of vertebras 

pathological processes of the clavicle

anomaly of venas - aneurysm of artery or vena of the subclavia

pathological processes in the 1. rib (healing of a fracture by a callus)

rarely also hypertrophy of m. pectoralis minor



Subtypes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

In the dependence on the place of compression and main etiology sometimes particular subtypes of the outlet syndrome are differed, but for clinical practice this dividing is needless.


Syndrome Place of compression


between the m. scalenus anterior and the first rib (usually cervical rib)


between the first rib and the clavicle


between the m. pectoralis minor and the rib