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Adsons Test

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Other Names

Adsons Test
Demonstration of Adson's Test[1]
  • Adson's Test
  • Adsons Test
  • Adson Test



  • The patients arm is abducted to 30 degrees at the shoulder, and then fully extended
  • The examiner maintains palpation of the radial pulse
  • The patient then inhales, holds the breath and rotates their head towards the tested extremity
    • Note: Some providers will rotate the head away in a modified version
  • The quality of the radial pulse is then compared to the patient at rest
  • The test is positive if marked decrease, or disappearance, of the radial pulse
    • Note: Be sure to check pulses in both arms before and after the test



  • Sensitivity: 94% [2]
  • Specificity: 18% - 87%

See Also


  1. Image courtesy of learnmuscles.com, "Orthopedic Assessment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Adson’s, Eden’s, Wright’s"
  2. Malanga GA, Nadler S. Musculoskeletal Physical Examination: An Evidence-based Approach. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006
Created by:
John Kiel on 21 July 2019 22:18:19
Last edited:
27 March 2023 22:56:42