How Common Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Thorac Surg Clin. 2021 Feb;31(1):11-17. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2020.09.001.


The incidence of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is completely unknown, and has been wildly overestimated in the past. Based on a prospectively maintained database at our academic Thoracic Outlet Center, we estimate the yearly incidence of neurogenic and venous thoracic outlet syndrome to be approximately 3 and 1 per 100,000 population, respectively. The ratio of neurogenic to venous thoracic outlet syndrome seems to be approximately 80:20 based on presentation, and 75:25 based on operative correction. These data will help to understand the impact of these disorders, and perhaps help to guide resource management.

Keywords: Neurogenic versus venous TOS proportions; TOS incidence; Thoracic outlet syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / etiology
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome* / surgery