Internal jugular vein stenosis is common in patients presenting with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome.
[thoracic outlet syndrome]
Previous magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown abnormalities of the internal jugular veins in patients with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), but this finding has largely been ignored. We, thus, prospectively performed diagnostic brachiocephalic venograms in all patients with diagnosed neurogenic TOS from April 2008 to December 2011 (mean age, 42.6; r, 16-68; 77.8% women and 22.2% men). Stenosis of the left internal jugular vein, left subclavian vein, right internal jugular vein, and right subclavian vein were assessed, and significant stenoses of these vessels were seen in 63.49%, 65.08%, 60.32%, and 68.25% of patients, respectively. Internal jugular vein stenosis was not present in 23.81%, present unilaterally in 28.57%, and present bilaterally in 47.62% of patients. Subclavian vein stenosis was not present in 17.46%, present unilaterally in 28.57%, and present bilaterally in 53.97% of patients. Phi coefficients of correlation were 0.067 between left internal jugular vein and left subclavian vein stenoses, 0.061 between right internal jugular vein and right subclavian vein stenoses, and 0 between any internal jugular vein and any subclavian vein stenoses, indicating there is no correlation between jugular vein stenosis and subclavian vein stenosis in these patients. We conclude that right and left internal jugular vein stenosis is common in patients with neurogenic TOS symptoms. Treatment of internal jugular vein stenosis could potentially benefit these patients, and the implications of these findings warrant further study.