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Proposed pathogenesis of Paget–Schroetter disease: impingement of the subclavian vein by a congenitally malformed bony tubercle on the first rib
  1. Farid Gharagozloo1,
  2. Mark Meyer1,
  3. Barbara Tempesta1,
  4. Eric Strother1,
  5. Marc Margolis1,
  6. Richard Neville2
  1. 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Washington Institute of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2The Division of Vascular Surgery, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark Meyer, Washington Institute of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2175 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA; meyerma{at}gwu.edu

Abstract

Aim To study and compare the anatomical and clinical pathology of first ribs in patients with Paget–Schroetter Disease (PSD) with first ribs in patients without the disease.

Methods In a case–control study, normal human cadaver first ribs were compared with first ribs from patients with PSD. Ribs, intraoperative videos of transthoracic en bloc surgical resection of the first rib, and preoperative and postoperative dynamic upper extremity venograms were reviewed.

Results Fifteen first ribs were from patients with PSD and seven normal first ribs were from human cadavers. In all patients (100%) with PSD there was a bony tubercle that corresponded to the area of the subclavian vein groove in the normal ribs. In all controls (100%), there was a normal subclavian groove without the presence of a tubercle. On preoperative venograms in patients with PSD, the tubercle accounted for an extrinsic protuberance that compressed the subclavian vein (100%). Intraoperatively, the abnormal bony tubercle accounted for the extrinsic compression of the subclavian vein in all (100%) patients with PSD. Venograms of the upper extremity obtained after first rib resection showed the disappearance of the extrinsic compression on the subclavian vein (100%) and a patent subclavian vein with elevation of the arm in all patients.

Conclusions A bony tubercle at the site of the subclavian vein groove in patients with PSD causes extrinsic compression of the subclavian vein at rest.

  • Bony tubercle
  • diagnostics
  • management
  • Paget–Schroetter disease
  • Paget–Schroetter syndrome
  • robotic thoracoscopic first rib resection
  • thoracic outlet syndrome
  • vascular disease

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was reviewed and determined to be exempt from institutional review board approval under 45 CFR 46.101 (b) (4).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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