open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2008)
Published online: 2008-04-15
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The frequency of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurrence in a young population between 19-26 years

Tomasz Urbanek, Damian Ziaja, Anna Kwiecień, Michał Wasiak, Krzysztof Ziaja
Chirurgia Polska 2008;10(1):8-15.

open access

Vol 10, No 1 (2008)
Published online: 2008-04-15

Abstract

Background: Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is an often misdiagnosed cause of neck, shoulder, and arm disability. This is due to the fact that there is no generally accepted simple diagnostic procedurescheme, as well as to the often, non-characteristic clinical view of the syndrome. Early-stage signs may be ignored until severe vascular complications appear. The aim of this study is an evaluation of TOS occurrence among students aged 19-26 years and not previously diagnosed because of TOS suspicion.
Material and methods: The study group comprised 100 patients - Medical University of Silesia students, aged 19-26 (mean age 22.3 years). A physical examination, accompanied by a series of provocative tests assigned to identify signs of thoracic outlet syndrome, was carried out on each subject.
Results: 66% of patients had negative tests results and had no typical symptoms of the syndrome. 29% of subjects in spite of having no clinical signs, had at least one positive test result. 5% of patients with typical clinical symptoms had positive provocative test results (at least 3). In the entire studied population, the most frequent test with positive outcome was the Allen test (31%).
Conclusions: Despite the lack of clinically visible thoracic outlet syndrome vascular complications in the population aged 19-26 years, some of the subjects had significant abnormalities during their examination, presenting positive results of TOS provocative tests. The presence of positive test results and a relatively high rate of symptomatic patients suggest the necessity of further diagnostic tool implementation, including also an evaluation of the presence of potentially predisposing factors leading to TOS occurrence.

Abstract

Background: Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is an often misdiagnosed cause of neck, shoulder, and arm disability. This is due to the fact that there is no generally accepted simple diagnostic procedurescheme, as well as to the often, non-characteristic clinical view of the syndrome. Early-stage signs may be ignored until severe vascular complications appear. The aim of this study is an evaluation of TOS occurrence among students aged 19-26 years and not previously diagnosed because of TOS suspicion.
Material and methods: The study group comprised 100 patients - Medical University of Silesia students, aged 19-26 (mean age 22.3 years). A physical examination, accompanied by a series of provocative tests assigned to identify signs of thoracic outlet syndrome, was carried out on each subject.
Results: 66% of patients had negative tests results and had no typical symptoms of the syndrome. 29% of subjects in spite of having no clinical signs, had at least one positive test result. 5% of patients with typical clinical symptoms had positive provocative test results (at least 3). In the entire studied population, the most frequent test with positive outcome was the Allen test (31%).
Conclusions: Despite the lack of clinically visible thoracic outlet syndrome vascular complications in the population aged 19-26 years, some of the subjects had significant abnormalities during their examination, presenting positive results of TOS provocative tests. The presence of positive test results and a relatively high rate of symptomatic patients suggest the necessity of further diagnostic tool implementation, including also an evaluation of the presence of potentially predisposing factors leading to TOS occurrence.
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Keywords

zespół uciskowy górnego otworu klatki piersiowej; testy prowokacyjne; występowanie

About this article
Title

The frequency of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurrence in a young population between 19-26 years

Journal

Chirurgia Polska (Polish Surgery)

Issue

Vol 10, No 1 (2008)

Pages

8-15

Published online

2008-04-15

Bibliographic record

Chirurgia Polska 2008;10(1):8-15.

Keywords

zespół uciskowy górnego otworu klatki piersiowej
testy prowokacyjne
występowanie

Authors

Tomasz Urbanek
Damian Ziaja
Anna Kwiecień
Michał Wasiak
Krzysztof Ziaja

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