Purpose of Test: To test for symptom reproduction of Thoracic outlet syndrome, specifically under the pectoralis minor.
Test Position: Standing.
Performing the Test: Palpate the patient's radial pulse. Have them abduct their shoulder to >90 degrees with extension. Ask the patient to take a deep breath and hold. A positive test is a decrease in radial pulse vigor.
Diagnostic Accuracy: Unknown.
Importance of Test: Patients with vascular types of thoracic outlet syndrome often describe their pain as a fullness, heaviness, clumsiness, or weakness in their arm. The patient may also have subjective complaints of swelling, either permanent or intermittent. When performing the Hyperabduction Test, the examiner is placing the patient in a position that compresses the neurovascular bundle as it travels under the pectoralis minor muscle, thus resulting in a decrease in radial pulse strength. When performing the hyperabduction test, it is important to test the contralateral side as well to understand the patient's normal radial pulse.
Note: these tests should only be performed by properly trained health care practitioners.