Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with the use of aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer

Taiga Nishihori, Jaehyuk Choi, Michael P. DiGiovanna, J. Grant Thomson, Peter C. Kohler, Joanne McGurn, Gina G. Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Aromatase inhibitors (AI) inhibit peripheral conversion of androgens to estradiol and are commonly used as hormonal therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in the metastatic and adjuvant settings. Joint-related symptoms, however, are seen in a significant proportion of patients. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common nerve entrapment disorder affecting the median nerve. We describe 6 patients with newly diagnosed CTS after initiation of adjuvant AI therapy. Aromatase inhibitors were discontinued in several patients secondary to this toxicity with some switching to tamoxifen and most subsequently experiencing relief of their symptoms. Potential pathophysiologic roles of hormonal manipulation with AIs and other risk factors that might contribute to CTS are discussed. Aromatase inhibitors might accentuate the occurrence of CTS and potentially other nerve entrapment syndromes, and a more systematic approach should be used to better understand the clinical significance and incidence of these symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-365
Number of pages4
JournalClinical breast cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Paresthesia
  • Sentinel lymph node dissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with the use of aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this