Imaging to intervention: Thoracic outlet syndrome

Yijin Huang, Matthew Abad-Santos, Ramesh S. Iyer, Eric J. Monroe, Christopher D. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a clinical disorder resulting from compression of the neurovascular bundle of the lower neck and upper chest. TOS can be categorized into neurogenic, venous, and arterial subtypes which result from anatomical compression of the brachial plexus, subclavian vein, and subclavian artery, respectively. This can lead to neurogenic pain as well as vascular injury with thrombosis and thromboembolism. Interventional and diagnostic radiologists play a critical role in the imaging diagnosis and treatment of vascular TOS. Prompt imaging and endovascular management with surgical collaboration has been shown to provide the most successful and long-lasting clinical outcomes, from vessel patency to symptom relief. In this article, we review the anatomy and clinical presentations of TOS as well as the initial imaging modalities used for diagnosis. Furthermore, we detail the role of the diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the management of TOS, including pre-procedure and endovascular interventions, along with medical and surgical treatments. Precis: Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologists play a key role in diagnosis and management of vascular thoracic outlet syndromes and are critical for timely and successful outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Imaging
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Arteriography
  • Catheter directed thrombolysis
  • Endovascular
  • Paget-Schrotter syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Thrombectomy
  • Venography


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