Pemberton's maneuver - a clinical test for latent superior vena cava syndrome caused by a substernal mass

Eur J Med Res. 1997 Nov 28;2(11):488-90.


A 62-year-old white male presented with facial erythema and jugular vein distension in upright position which progressed to cyanosis and facial edema while keeping both arms elevated (Pemberton sign). A CT scan revealed a large substernal goiter as the cause of superior vena cava syndrome. Symptoms and signs disappeared after thyroid surgery. First reported in 1946 Pemberton's maneuver is a useful but unrecognized clinical sign for oligosymptomatic superior vena cava syndrome caused by a substernal mass.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Erythema / etiology*
  • Face / blood supply*
  • Goiter, Substernal / complications*
  • Goiter, Substernal / diagnosis
  • Goiter, Substernal / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins*
  • Male
  • Mediastinum / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination*
  • Pressure
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed