Current Issues of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

Epidemiology and pathogenesis of thoracic outlet syndrome

Curr Issues Pharm Med Sci., Vol. 28, No. 1, Pages 24-26

Gustaw Wojcik1,2*, Barbara Sokolowska3, Jolanta Piskorz4

1 Department of Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy and Balneotherapy of Medical University in Lublin, Chodzki 6, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
2 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Zofia Zamoyska of Tarnowski Hospital in Tarnobrzeg, Szpitalna 1, 39-400 Tarnobrzeg, Poland
3 Department of Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at the State University College. Pope John Paul II in Biala Podlaska, Sidorska 102, 21-500 Biała Podlaska
4 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Zofia Zamoyska of Tarnowski Hospital in Tarnobrzeg, Szpitalna 1, 39-400 Tarnobrzeg, Poland

DOI: 10.1515/cipms-2015-0036


The superior thoracic aperture is a place particularly vulnerable to the occurrence of tissue conflict and the development of a number of neurovascular changes carrying a risk of upper limb dysfunction. The triggering factor in this case is the pressure on the nerve vascular elements brought about by too large muscles of the chest and neck, clavicle fracture and dislocation of the upper ribs, anomalies in the form of ribs, in the neck, or by apex of the lung tumors. Each anatomical anomaly may be a cause of a number of lesions and lead to the development of the disease. Due to the nature of the oppressed structures, there are two basic groups: neurogenic and vascular. The most common variant giving clinical symptoms is neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. In this, the compression ratio, the brachial plexus, and for this reason, the vascular surface of the upper limb dysfunction is often overlooked. However, the vascular variant, and especially arterial sub-variant, is very dangerous because it can give complications even in the form of aneurysms, and even upper limb ischemia. The aim of the study is to present the most common changes in the thoracic outlet causing functional disorders of the upper limb.


Full Text


subclavian artery, thoracic outlet syndrome, cervical ribs, brachial plexus.


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