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22 December 2011

A delayed diagnosis that altered the professional orientation of an athlete with upper limb chronic arterial embolization

Christos V. IoannouADE, Alexandros KafetzakisDF, Christos KounnosBF, Dimitris KoukoumtzisF, Emmanuel TavlasB, Theodoros KostasAE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.882184

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(1): CS1-3

Abstract

Background: Vascular disorders of the upper extremity in young and physically active patients present a complex and challenging problem for the treating physician. Initial presentation may often be subtle and the consequences of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or mistreatment can be severe.
Case Report: In this report, we discuss a case of a young woman with chronic upper limb ischemia due to an arterial thoracic outlet syndrome in whom even though symptoms persisted over a number of years during which she frequently sought medical consultation, remained undiagnosed until finally presenting with limb-threatening ischemia. Furthermore, due to this delay, the patient was forced to withdraw from her professional carrier in athletics.
Conclusions: A thoughtful and through approach combining the history, physical findings, and use of appropriate diagnostic aids will provide the physician and patient with the greatest opportunity for a satisfactory outcome. Furthermore, a delay in definitive treatment may not only cause health deterioration, but may also incur social, economic and occupational consequences.

Keywords: Muscle Weakness - pathology, Ischemia - etiology, Cervical Rib - surgery, athletes, Angiography, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - radiography

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750