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Concept: First rib


A 29-year-old woman who worked as a KAATSU (a type of body exercise that involves blood flow restriction) instructor visited our emergency room with a chief complaint of swelling and left upper limb pain. Chest computed tomography (CT) showed non-uniform contrast images corresponding to the site from the left axillary vein to the left subclavian vein; vascular ultrasonography of the upper limb revealed a thrombotic obstruction at the same site, leading to a diagnosis of Paget-Schroetter syndrome (PSS). We herein report our experience with a case of PSS derived from thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), in a patient who was a KAATSU instructor.

Concepts: Veins of the torso, First rib, Scalene muscles, Medical imaging, Axillary artery, Axillary vein, Subclavian artery, Subclavian vein


Congenital anatomic anomalies and variations are frequent in the thoracic outlet and may be associated with clinical symptoms. Arterial thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is characterized by subclavian artery compression and vascular pathology, almost always in the presence of a bony abnormality. We describe here a patient with arterial thromboembolism following a fall on the outstretched arm, who was found to have subclavian artery stenosis and post-stenotic dilatation in the absence of a bony abnormality. Surgical exploration revealed a previously undescribed anomaly in which the subclavian artery passed through the costoclavicular space in front of the anterior scalene muscle, where it was subject to bony compression between the first rib and clavicle. Successful treatment was achieved by scalenectomy, first rib resection and interposition bypass graft reconstruction of the affected subclavian artery. This newly acknowledged anatomical variant adds to our understanding of the diverse factors that may contribute to development of TOS.

Concepts: First rib, Scalenus medius, Human anatomy, Subclavian vein, Subclavian artery, Scalene muscles


We performed a systematic review to determine best practice for the management of patients with chronic or subacute subclavian vein thrombosis. This condition is best managed with surgical excision of the first rib followed by long-term anticoagulation. Interventional techniques aimed at restoring patency are ineffective beyond 2 weeks postthrombosis. Additional therapeutic options should be made based on the severity of symptoms as well as vein status. Patients with milder symptoms are given decompression surgery followed by anticoagulation whereas patients with more severe symptoms are considered for either a jugular vein transposition or saphenous patch based on the vein characteristics.

Concepts: First rib, Management, Subclavian artery, Excision, Internal jugular vein, Subclavian vein, Surgery, Medicine


Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition arising from compression of the subclavian vessels and/or brachial plexus. Many factors or diseases may cause compression of the neurovascular bundle at the thoracic outlet. We describe the case of a 41-year-old woman with TOS who presented with vascular venous symptoms. Chest computed tomography (CT) scan showed a cystic mass at the level of cervico-thoracic junction, located between the left subclavian artery and vein, which appeared compressed. The cystic mass was removed through a cervical approach and it was found to be a cyst arising from the thoracic duct compressing and anteriorly dislocating the left subclavian vein. After surgery symptoms promptly disappeared.

Concepts: Brachiocephalic artery, Vertebral artery, Thoracic outlet syndrome, First rib, Scalene muscles, Axillary artery, Subclavian vein, Subclavian artery


Maintaining vascular access by means of radiological intervention has become the mainstay of management of patients with central venous stenoses and occlusions (CVO), which can be challenging. We present a case of balloon-assisted percutaneous puncture of an occluded left subclavian vein, through a thrombosed arteriovenous graft, for a tunneled dialysis catheter insertion.

Concepts: Vein, Central venous catheter, First rib, Scalene muscles, Hemodialysis, Subclavian artery, Subclavian vein


We report the case of a 73-year-old man with severe edema of the right upper extremity. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and venography revealed an intravenous tumor in the middle portion of the right subclavian vein. The tumor was completely resected, and an accompanying thrombus was also removed using the transmanubrial osteomuscular sparing approach. The patient recovered well without any complications or recurrence. The histopathologic diagnosis was intravenous lobular capillary hemangioma, which is also called pyogenic granuloma. To our knowledge, this is the first reported surgical case involving this type of benign tumor originating in a thoracic vein.

Concepts: Radiology, First rib, Lymphatic system, Scalene muscles, Magnetic resonance imaging, Subclavian artery, Subclavian vein, Medical imaging


Venous thoracic outlet syndrome (VTOS) is uncommon but most frequently occurs in young, active, healthy patients. This condition typically presents as subclavian vein (SCV) effort thrombosis, also known as Paget-Schroetter syndrome. The pathophysiology underlying VTOS is chronic repetitive compression injury of the SCV in the costoclavicular space, resulting in progressive venous scarring, focal stenosis, and eventual thrombosis. Clinical evaluation includes a history and physical examination followed by catheter-based venography, for definitive confirmation of the diagnosis and initial treatment with pharmacomechanical thrombolysis. After restoration of SCV patency, patients are maintained with anticoagulation and surgical therapy is usually planned within 4 to 6 weeks. Surgical management of VTOS can be accomplished via different protocols involving either the transaxillary, infraclavicular or paraclavicular approaches to thoracic outlet decompression. The paraclavicular approach is emphasized in this review, because it affords the surgeon the ability to safely perform complete thoracic outlet decompression (complete anterior and middle scalenectomy, removal of the entire first rib, and resection of the subclavius muscle and costoclavicular ligament), along with definitive management of the damaged SCV (external venolysis, intraoperative venography, and direct vein reconstruction, if needed, using patch angioplasty or bypass grafting), in one operative setting. After surgical therapy, interval anticoagulation and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program are important in achieving a return to full function. Current protocols on the basis of the paraclavicular surgical approach have thereby routinely provided patients with lasting symptomatic relief, freedom from indefinite anticoagulation, and the ability to return to unrestricted upper extremity activity.

Concepts: Subclavian vein, Stroke, Deep vein, Vein, Deep vein thrombosis, Thrombosis, Subclavian artery, First rib


Subclavius posticus muscle is a supernumerary anatomical variation of the subclavius muscle. The aim of this study was to show the possible contribution of the posticus muscle in the development of unilateral thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) in overhead athletes, presenting hypertrophy of the dominant arm due to their sport activity. Reported here are 2 young overhead athletes complaining pain, paresthesia, weakness in the dominant upper limb, although presenting none of the main shoulder and neurological disorders. After developing subclavian vein thrombosis, TOS was suspected and finally diagnosed by dynamic magnetic resonance angiography, which also showed bilateral subclavius posticus muscle in both patients. Despite bilateral subclavius posticus, TOS was only evident in the dominant limb in which the association of hypertrophy of lateral cervical muscles, resulting from the overhead sport activity, to the subclavius posticus likely led to a significant reduction of the upper thoracic outlet space.

Concepts: Upper limb, Clavicle, First rib, Subclavian vein, Muscular system, Subclavian artery, Neurology, Human anatomy


We present the case of a healthy 13-year-old female adolescent who developed acute progressive swelling and pain in her right upper extremity that was secondary to an acute deep venous thrombosis of her right subclavian vein. Dynamic imaging revealed subclavian vein compression at the junction of the first rib and proximal third of the clavicle consistent with Paget-Schroetter syndrome, also known as effort-related thrombosis. The compressive etiology of her thrombus was most likely related to her cheerleading activity, in which she served as the pyramid base. The patient received multimodal therapy including anticoagulation, mechanical and site-directed thrombolysis, and a first rib resection. This case illustrates that frontline providers should have a high index of suspicion for an upper extremity thrombosis in pediatric patients who present with unilateral arm swelling.

Concepts: First rib, Stroke, Deep vein, Vein, Deep vein thrombosis, Subclavian artery, Thrombosis, Subclavian vein


A 54-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with fatigue and pre-syncope secondary to paroxysmal complete AV Block (AVB). She had a history of prior surgical removal of a left atrial myxoma and catheter ablation of right atrial tachycardia. As there was no apparent reversible cause of this rhythm disturbance, the patient was transferred to our EP-Lab to undergo implantation of a dual-chamber pacemaker. The procedure was planned under local anesthesia and via left subclavian vein. Upon arrival to the EP-Lab her 12-lead ECG showed sinus rhythm with 1(st) degree AVB (PR = 280 ms) and remarkable P wave prolongation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Central venous catheter, First rib, Scalene muscles, Cardiology, Cardiac electrophysiology, Subclavian artery, Subclavian vein