Reporting standards of the Society for Vascular Surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

J Vasc Surg. 2016 Sep;64(3):e23-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2016.04.039.


Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a group of disorders all having in common compression at the thoracic outlet. Three structures are at risk: the brachial plexus, the subclavian vein, and the subclavian artery, producing neurogenic (NTOS), venous (VTOS), and arterial (ATOS) thoracic outlet syndromes, respectively. Each of these three are separate entities, though they can coexist and possibly overlap. The treatment of NTOS, in particular, has been hampered by lack of data, which in turn is the result of inconsistent definitions and diagnosis, uncertainty with regard to treatment options, and lack of consistent outcome measures. The Committee has defined NTOS as being present when three of the following four criteria are present: signs and symptoms of pathology occurring at the thoracic outlet (pain and/or tenderness), signs and symptoms of nerve compression (distal neurologic changes, often worse with arms overhead or dangling), absence of other pathology potentially explaining the symptoms, and a positive response to a properly performed scalene muscle test injection. Reporting standards for workup, treatment, and assessment of results are presented, as are reporting standards for all phases of VTOS and ATOS. The overall goal is to produce consistency in diagnosis, description of treatment, and assessment of results, in turn then allowing more valuable data to be presented.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / classification
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / complications
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / therapy