Preoperative Duplex Scanning is a Helpful Diagnostic Tool in Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Megan S. Orlando, Kendall C. Likes, Serene Mirza, Yue Cao, Anne Cohen, Ying Wei Lum, Julie A. Freischlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic role of venous and arterial duplex scanning in neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS). Methods: Retrospective review of patients who underwent duplex ultrasonography prior to first rib resection and scalenectomy (FRRS) for NTOS from 2005 to 2013. Abnormal scans included ipsilateral compression (IC) with abduction of the symptomatic extremity (>50% change in subclavian vessel flow), contralateral (asymptomatic side) compression (CC) or bilateral compression (BC). Results: A total of 143 patients (76% female, average age 34, range 13-59) underwent bilateral preoperative duplex scanning. Ipsilateral compression was seen in 44 (31%), CC in 12 (8%), and BC in 14 (10%). Seventy-three (51%) patients demonstrated no compression. Patients with IC more often experienced intraoperative pneumothoraces (49% vs. 25%, P <.05) and had positive Adson tests (86% vs. 61%, P <.02). Conclusion: Compression of the subclavian vein or artery on duplex ultrasonography can assist in NTOS diagnosis. Ipsilateral compression on abduction often correlates with Adson testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalVascular and endovascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • duplex ultrasonography
  • first rib resection and scalenectomy
  • neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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