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Pancoast's syndrome

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Pancoast's syndrome is due to a tumour, usually squamous cell carcinoma, near the apex of the lung which results in an ipsilateral Horner's syndrome.

Erosion of the ribs results in severe pain in the shoulder.

Infiltration of the lower part of the brachial plexus (C8-T2) results in:

  • pain down the inner surface of the arm and the fourth and fifth fingers
  • paralysis and wasting of the muscles of the hand and forearm
  • there may also be a unilateral laryngeal nerve palsy and vocal cord paralysis causing a hoarse voice/ bovine cough

Associated syndromes include:

  • thoracic outlet syndrome

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