Document Detail

Occlusion and stenosis of the posterior circumflex humeral artery: detection with ultrasound in a normal population.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22008166     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: The posterior circumflex humeral artery (PCHA) travels together with the axillary nerve through the quadrilateral space of the shoulder. Angiographic occlusion of this artery upon abduction and external rotation (ABER) of the arm has been accepted as evidence of mechanical compression of the axillary nerve and thus considered pathognomonic of quadrilateral space syndrome (QSS). The specificity of this sign for QSS has however been called into question as there are, to date, limited data on the incidence of axillary neurovascular compression during ABER in a normal population. We set out to determine the rate of stenosis or occlusion of the PCHA on ABER in healthy volunteers using ultrasound.
METHODS: Healthy volunteers asymptomatic for shoulder complaints were recruited from patients attending the clinic for ultrasound imaging not related to the shoulder, as well as volunteers among staff. Doppler sampling of the PCHA of both shoulders of participants was conducted in neutral and abduction and externally rotated positions. Each shoulder was treated as a separate entity.
RESULTS: Results showed that 15/93 (16%) of shoulders demonstrated Doppler ultrasound evidence of occlusion or significant stenosis in the absence of shoulder complaints.
CONCLUSION: Occlusion or stenosis of the PCHA on ABER is an uncommon finding in an asymptomatic population. Axillary neurovascular compression is unlikely if colour Doppler ultrasound does not show PCHA compromise during ABER.
David John Robinson; Paul Marks; Michal Schneider-Kolsky
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology     Volume:  55     ISSN:  1754-9485     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-19     Completed Date:  2012-03-19     Revised Date:  2014-07-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101469340     Medline TA:  J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  479-84     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology © 2011 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.
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MeSH Terms
Constriction, Pathologic
Humerus / blood supply*,  ultrasonography*
Middle Aged
Peripheral Vascular Diseases / ultrasonography*
Reference Values
Shoulder Joint / blood supply*,  ultrasonography*
Ultrasonography, Doppler / methods
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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