Arterial Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
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Arterial thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition that happens when the subclavian artery is squeezed or compressed. The subclavian artery is the artery that carries blood from the heart to the arm and hand. To reach the arm, this artery must pass through the thoracic outlet, which is a tight space under the collarbone (clavicle) and above the top rib. There are different types of TOS, and the arterial type is the rarest.
Depending on which structures are affected, you may have symptoms on one or both sides of your body.
This condition may be caused by having a cervical rib. This is an extra rib at the base of your neck that presses on your subclavian artery. Over time, this pressure may cause a clot to form inside the artery, or the artery may weaken and balloon outward (aneurysm).
These signs and symptoms may be worse when you hold your arms over your head.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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