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Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 248163, 6 pages
Review Article

Understanding Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

1Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 720 Rutland Avenue, Ross 759, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
2Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Halsted 668, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Received 9 March 2014; Accepted 28 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Samy S. Nitecki

Copyright © 2014 Julie Freischlag and Kristine Orion. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome was once debated in the world of vascular surgery. Today, it is more understood and surprisingly less infrequent than once thought. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is composed of three types: neurogenic, venous, and arterial. Each type is in distinction to the others when considering patient presentation and diagnosis. Remarkable advances have been made in surgical approach, physical therapy, and rehabilitation of these patients. Dedicated centers of excellence with multidisciplinary teams have been developed and continue to lead the way in future research.