Iatrogenic brachial plexopathy due to improper positioning during radiofrequency ablation

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5 Scopus citations


Iatrogenic peripheral nerve injuries are a common source of postprocedural morbidity. The authors present a case report of a patient who developed brachial plexopathy from positioning during radiofrequency ablation of a renal mass. Though incidence data on the majority of iatrogenic peripheral nerve injury is scarce, there is more concrete data on iatrogenic brachial plexopathy. The incidence of brachial plexopathies is ∼0.2% of all patients who receive general anesthesia, with between 7 and 10% of brachial plexopathies being iatrogenic in nature. The mechanism of injury in the majority of cases is due to stretching or compression of the nerve tissue. Treatment is largely supportive. Prevention is key in minimizing this form of patient morbidity. It is the operator's responsibility to mitigate this risk by employing proper positioning techniques and communicating closely with the anesthesia staff when applicable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-170
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Brachial plexus
  • iatrogenic
  • peripheral nerve injury
  • plexopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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