Which physical findings are characteristic of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Updated: Apr 04, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

No criterion-standard physical examination test is used to assess thoracic outlet syndrome. Postural problems, pendulous breasts, and poor muscle tone may be evident. In the modified Adson test, the pulse is palpated at the wrist and the supraclavicular space is auscultated while the patient performs a Valsalva maneuver with the arm elevated and the head turned to the opposite side. A positive test result entails decreased pulse and an arterial bruit, along with report of pain and paresthesia.


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