Diffusivity measurements differentiate benign from malignant lesions in patients with peripheral neuropathy or plexopathy

E. L. Yuh, S. Jain Palrecha, G. M. Lagemann, M. Kliot, P. R. Weinstein, N. M. Barbaro, Cynthia T. Chin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Peripheral nerve disorders caused by benign and malignant primary nerve sheath tumors, infiltration or compression of nerves by metastatic disease, and postradiation neuritis demonstrate overlapping features on conventional MR imaging but require vastly different therapeutic approaches. We characterize and compare diffusivities of peripheral nerve lesions in patients undergoing MR neurography for peripheral neuropathy or brachial or lumbosacral plexopathy. Materials and Methods: Twenty-three patients, referred for MR neurography at our institution between 2003 and 2009 for a peripheral mononeuropathy or brachial or lumbosacral plexopathy and whose examinations included DWI, received a definitive diagnosis, based on biopsy results or clinical and imaging follow-up, for a masslike or infiltrative peripheral nerve or plexus lesion suspicious for tumor. Mean ADC values were determined within each lesion and compared across 3 groups (benign lesions, malignant lesions, and postradiation changes). RESULTS: Both ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests demonstrated a statistically significant difference in ADC values across the 3 groups (P = .000023, P=.00056, respectively). Post hoc pair-wise comparisons showed that theADCwithin malignant tumors differed significantly from that within benign tumors and postradiation changes. ADC within benign tumors and postradiation changes did not differ significantly from each other. Conclusions: DWI may be highly effective for the differentiation of benign from malignant peripheral nerve masslike or infiltrative lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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