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Clinical, electrodiagnostic and imaging features of true neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome: Experience at a tertiary referral center.

OBJECTIVE: True neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (TN-TOS) is an extremely rare neuromuscular disease. We report clinical, electrodiagnostic and radiologic features of patients with TN-TOS.

METHODS: Retrospective chart review of patients satisfying criteria was done. Nerve conduction study (NCS) and needle electromyography (EMG) of upper extremity were reviewed. Brachial plexus MRI and computed tomography angiography (CTA) were also reviewed.

RESULTS: Thirteen TN-TOS patients were identified. The most common neurologic signs were hypesthesia in the medial forearm or ulnar digits and weakness of the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. In NCS, medial antebrachial cutaneous (MABC) sensory nerve action potential amplitude was decreased in all tested patients. The APB muscle was most commonly involved in EMG. Among radiologic criteria, focal stenosis of subclavian artery in CTA was the most common finding.

CONCLUSION: We confirmed that TN-TOS is T1 predominant lower roots/trunk brachial plexopathy with clinical and electrodiagnostic features. Radiologic studies may be used to detect structural abnormalities.

SIGNIFICANCE: As MABC NCS showed abnormal results in all tested patients, it should be added to electrodiagnostic study as screening method. If present, structural abnormalities might be confirmed with radiologic studies.

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