Outcomes following operative management of thoracic outlet syndrome in the pediatric patients

Vascular. 2018 Aug;26(4):410-417. doi: 10.1177/1708538117747628. Epub 2018 Jan 4.


Objectives Thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition commonly reported in adults, occurs infrequently in the pediatric population. The objective of this study was to assess the outcome of surgical interventions of thoracic outlet syndrome in pediatric patients. Methods Clinical records of all pediatric patients with thoracic outlet syndrome who underwent operative repair from 2002 to 2015 in a tertiary pediatric hospital were reviewed. Pertinent clinical variables and treatment outcomes were analyzed. Results Sixty-eight patients underwent a total of 72 thoracic outlet syndrome operations (mean age 15.7 years). Venous, neurogenic, and arterial thoracic outlet syndromes occurred in 39 (57%), 21 (31%), and 8 (12%) patients, respectively. Common risk factors for children with venous thoracic outlet syndrome included sports-related injuries (40%) and hypercoagulable disorders (33%). Thirty-five patients (90%) with venous thoracic outlet syndrome underwent catheter-based interventions followed by surgical decompression. All patients underwent first rib resection with scalenectomy via either a supraclavicular approach (n = 60, 88%) or combined supraclavicular and infraclavicular incisions (n = 8, 12%). Concomitant temporary arteriovenous fistula creation was performed in 14 patients (36%). Three patients with arterial thoracic outlet syndrome underwent first rib resection with concomitant subclavian artery aneurysm repair. The mean follow-up duration was 38.4 ± 11.6 months. Long-term symptomatic relief was achieved in 94% of patients. Conclusions Venous thoracic outlet syndrome is the most common form of thoracic outlet syndrome in children, followed by neurogenic and arterial thoracic outlet syndromes. Competitive sports-related injuries remain the most common risk factor for venous and neurogenic thoracic outlet syndromes. Temporary arteriovenous fistula creation was useful in venous thoracic outlet syndrome patients in selective children. Surgical decompression provides durable treatment success in children with all subtypes of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Keywords: Paget Schroeder syndrome; Pediatric patients; axillary vein thrombosis; cervical rib; first rib resection; scalenectomy; thoracic outlet syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Decompression, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / adverse effects
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribs / surgery*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome / etiology
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome