MR neurography of the brachial plexus in adult and pediatric age groups: evolution, recent advances, and future directions

Alexander T. Mazal, Ali Faramarzalian, Jonathan D. Samet, Kevin Gill, Jonathan Cheng, Avneesh Chhabra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: MR neurography (MRN) of the brachial plexus has emerged in recent years as a safe and accurate modality for the identification of brachial plexopathies in pediatric and adult populations. While clinical differentiation of brachial plexopathy from cervical spine-related radiculopathy or nerve injury has long relied upon nonspecific physical exam and electrodiagnostic testing modalities, MRN now permits detailed interrogation of peripheral nerve anatomy and pathology, as well as assessment of surrounding soft tissues and musculature, thereby facilitating accurate diagnosis. The reader will learn about the current state of brachial plexus MRN, including recent advances and future directions, and gain knowledge about the adult and pediatric brachial plexopathies that can be characterized using these techniques. Areas Covered: The review details recent developments in brachial plexus MRN, including increasing availability of 3.0-T MR scanners at both private and academic diagnostic imaging centers, as well as the advent of multiple new vascular and fat signal suppression techniques. A literature search of PubMed and SCOPUS was used as the principal source of information gathered for this review. Expert Opinion: Refinement of fat-suppression, 3D techniques and diffusion MR imaging modalities has improved the accuracy of MRN, rendering it as a useful adjunct to clinical findings during the evaluation of suspected brachial plexus lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • Brachial plexus
  • MR neurography
  • MRN
  • peripheral nerve injury
  • peripheral nerve-sheath tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering

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