Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic value of clinical findings, electromyography and magnetic resonance imaging of root lesions in traumatic brachial plexus injuries
Material and method: The authors clinically evaluated 175 cervical roots (C5-8, T1) in patients with traumatic brachial plexus injuries then with electromyography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each finding, taken alone and in combination with each other, was compared with the findings of exploratory surgery.
Results: The mean correlations of the clinical findings, electromyography and MRI in relation to the surgical findings were 60, 87 and 70 percent, respectively. The mean correlation was highest (90%) when the positive findings from the clinical, electromyographic or MRI investigations were combined. The correlation of the C5-6 root injuries was improved to 100% though the mean correlation was only 90%.
Conclusion: The combination of clinical findings and electromyography correlated well with the surgical findings of root lesions caused by traumatic brachial plexus injury. MRI markedly improved identification only of C5-6 root injuries.