The infraclavicular approach for Paget-Schroetter syndrome

G Samoila, C P Twine, I M Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Paget-Schroetter syndrome is a rare effort thrombosis of the axillary-subclavian vein, mainly occurring in young male patients. Current management involves immediate catheter directed thrombolysis, followed by surgical decompression of the subclavian vein. This has been invariably performed using a transaxillary or supraclavicular approach. However, the subclavian vein crosses the first rib anteriorly just behind the manubrium and can also be accessed via an infraclavicular incision. Methods MEDLINE® and Embase™ were searched for all studies on outcomes in patients undergoing infraclavicular first rib resection for treatment of Paget-Schroetter syndrome. Measured outcomes included freedom from reintervention, secondary patency and symptom resolution. Studies on neurogenic, arterial and iatrogenic venous thoracic outlet syndrome were not included. Findings Six studies (involving 268 patients) were eligible. The overall secondary venous patency rate was 98.5%. There was freedom from reintervention in 89.9% of cases and among those patients with reocclusion, 84.0% had chronic thrombosis (symptom duration >14 days), with 76.2% having a venous segment stenosis of >2cm. Only 3 of the 27 patients remained occluded despite reintervention. The infraclavicular approach provides excellent exposure to the subclavian vein and allows reconstruction when required. Moreover, this approach enables complete resection of the extrinsic compression that precipitated the initial thrombotic event, with excellent long-term patency rates. In conclusion, the infraclavicular route may have significant advantages compared with the transaxillary or supraclavicular approaches for successful and durable treatment of Paget-Schroetter syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Adult
  • Decompression, Surgical/methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Subclavian Vein/surgery
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome/surgery
  • Thrombolytic Therapy/methods
  • Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis/diagnosis


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