Clinical impact of magnetic resonance neurography in patients with brachial plexus neuropathies

Stephen Fisher, Vibhor Wadhwa, Christine Manthuruthil, Jonathan Cheng, Avneesh Chhabra

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37 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the impact of brachial plexus MR neurography (MRN) in the diagnostic thinking and therapeutic management of patients with suspected plexopathy. Methods: MRN examinations of adult brachial plexuses over a period of 18 months were reviewed. Relevant data collection included-patient demographics, clinical history, pre-imaging diagnostic impression, pre-imaging treatment plan, post-imaging diagnosis, post-imaging treatment plan, surgical notes and electrodiagnostic (ED) results. Impact of imaging on the pre-imaging clinical diagnosis and therapeutic management were classified as no change, mild change or substantial change. Results: Final sample included 121 studies. The common aetiologies included inflammatory in 31 (25.6%) of 121 patients, trauma in 29 (23.9%) of 121 patients and neoplastic in 26 (21.5%) of 121 patients. ED tests were performed in 47 (38.8%) of 121 patients and these showed concordance with MRN findings in 31 (66.0%) of 47 patients. Following MRN, there was change in the pre-imaging clinical impression for 91 (75.2%) of 121 subjects, with a mild change in diagnosis in 57 (47.1%) of 121 patients and a substantial change in 34 (28.0%) of 121 patients. 19 (15.7%) of 121 patients proceeded to therapies that would not have been performed in the same manner without the information obtained from MRN. Conclusion: MRN of the brachial plexus significantly impacts clinical decision-making and should be routinely performed in suspected brachial plexopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20160503
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1067
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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