What is axillo-subclavian vein thrombosis?

Axillo-subclavian vein thrombosis, also called Paget-Schroetter Syndrome, is a rare medical condition in the general population. But, it is the one of the most common vascular conditions to affect young, competitive athletes. The condition develops when a vein in the armpit (the axilla) or in the front of the shoulder (the subclavian vein) is compressed by the collarbone (clavicle), the first rib, or the surrounding muscle. It is considered a type of thoracic outlet syndrome.

As the person uses his or her arm repeatedly and the axillo-subclavian vein is compressed, the vein becomes inflamed. Over time, fibrous tissue builds up in the vein. The inside of the vein eventually becomes too narrow to allow normal blood flow. As a result, a blood clot forms.

As the person uses his or her arm repeatedly and the axillo-subclavian vein is compressed, the vein becomes inflamed. Over time, fibrous tissue builds up in the vein. The inside of the vein eventually becomes too narrow to allow normal blood flow. As a result, a blood clot forms.

What are the symptoms of axillo-subclavian vein thrombosis?

Patients with axillo-subclavian vein thrombosis can have the following symptoms in the affected arm and hand:

  • Sudden swelling
  • Bluish skin color
  • Heaviness and pain

With time, the condition can also cause the neck, face and area around the eyes to become swollen and puffy, and the face may be slightly blue on the affected side.

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