Subclavian artery test, Adson’s Test

Purpose: 

Test for presence of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Test procedure:

• The patient is seated.
• The examiner stands behind patient.
• The examiner palpates the patients radial pulse, abducts and extends their arm. The patient is asked to look towards the side being tested and to take a deep breath. In Halstead maneuver the Radial pulse is felt as arm is pulled down and back as the patient’s neck is hyperextended and rotated to the opposite side.
• Palpate for obliteration of the radial pulse.

Test findings:

Positive if pulse diminishes or is obliterated and symptoms are provoked on the upper extremity. Test is negative if radial pulse remains unaffected or symptoms are not provoked.

Positive test may indicate thoracic outlet syndrome (compression of neurovascular bundle at the interscalene, costoclavicular or pectoralis sites).