Neuralgic amyotrophy with phrenic nerve involvement

Muscle Nerve. 1999 Apr;22(4):437-42. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4598(199904)22:4<437::aid-mus2>;2-f.


Phrenic nerve involvement is a rare feature in patients with neuralgic amyotrophy (Parsonage-Turner syndrome). We report four patients who initially presented with severe dyspnea in the absence of lung disease. All patients had a history of infectious disease or surgery and of pain of sudden onset in the shoulder region. Weakness of the proximal arm was observed in only one. Radiographic and pulmonary function studies, phrenic nerve conduction studies, and needle electromyogram (EMG) of the diaphragm documented diaphragmatic paralysis which was unilateral in one patient, bilateral in two patients, and recurrent on alternating sides in another one. Follow-up studies remained abnormal for up to 4 years. Neuralgic amyotrophy with phrenic nerve involvement should be considered in patients presenting with severe, unexplained dyspnea of sudden onset.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / physiopathology*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiopathology*