Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 14–21

Updated Perspectives on Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome


DOI: 10.1007/s11916-010-0163-1

Cite this article as:
Christo, P.J. & McGreevy, K. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2011) 15: 14. doi:10.1007/s11916-010-0163-1


Pain represents a foremost feature of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS). Similar to other persistent pain conditions, the physical discomfort associated with NTOS can cause severe and often debilitating symptoms. In fact, those suffering from the syndrome report a quality of life impacted as significantly as those with chronic heart failure. This evidence-based literature review focuses on the classification, etiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic measures, and surgical treatment of NTOS, with a focus on nonoperative therapies such as physical modalities, pharmacological therapies, and more contemporary minimally invasive intramuscular treatments with botulinum toxin.


Thoracic outlet syndromeBotulinum toxinScalene musclesPain reliefNeurogenic thoracic outlet syndromeBrachial plexusComputed tomographyUltrasoundFluoroscopyElectromyographyRib resection and scalenectomyAnterior scalene muscleMinimally invasive treatments

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Division of Pain MedicineJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA