MR imaging of brachial plexus

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 Apr;15(2):113-25. doi: 10.1097/01.rmr.0000133527.08367.e0.


The brachial plexus is a complex anatomic component originating from ventral rami of the lower cervical nerve roots from C5 to C8 and upper thoracic spinal nerve roots from T1, providing sensory and motor innervation to the upper extremities. As it is inaccessible to palpation, clinical evaluation of the brachial plexus is very challenging and localizing lesions along its course is very difficult. The gamut of pathologic conditions involving the brachial plexus includes primary tumor, direct extension of adjacent tumor, metastasis, trauma, or an inflammatory condition. MR imaging provides superior diagnostic ability due to its ability of multiplanar imaging and greater soft tissue contrast. This article discusses MR imaging findings in a variety of pathologic conditions, with special emphasis on neoplastic process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus / anatomy & histology
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries
  • Brachial Plexus / pathology*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis