Brachial Plexus Compression Test
PurposeThe Brachial Plexus Compression Test, also called the Morley's Compression Test is used for the assessment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which produces tenderness at the root of the neck when pressure is placed over the neurovascular (the brachial plexus and the subclavian vessels) structures in the area of the supraclavicular fossa. 
To perform the Brachial Plexus Compression Test, the patient is seated upright with the arms beside the body. The examiner then compresses the supraclavicular fossa for a duration of thirty seconds.
The test is said to be positive when there is a reproduction of an aching sensation and typical localized paraesthesia and not only the presence of tenderness of the area. Also, there could be a palpable hard mass in the area of the supraclavicular fossa compressed. This may represent a true structural lesion that can create a venous or neurological Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It is essential that the mass is examined to rule out a more significant pathology.
No symptoms would be reproduced.
Sensitivity and Specificity
There is no information available for diagnosis accuracy and psychometric properties of the Brachial Plexus Compression Test.
The Brachial Plexus Compression Test is not sufficient enough to distinguish between patients with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and cervical radiculopathy, because the test is probably positive in both cases. Also, due to lack of information on its diagnosis accuracy, it is difficult to take objective stands on its clinical value.
- Morley's compression test. Oxford Reference. Available at: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100210167. Accessed: 10 Feb. 2021
- Julie Freischlag, Kristine Orion, "Understanding Thoracic Outlet Syndrome", Scientifica, vol. 2014, Article ID 248163, 6 pages, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/248163