MRI findings of 26 patients with Parsonage-Turner syndrome

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Jul;189(1):W39-44. doi: 10.2214/AJR.06.1136.


Objective: The objective of our study was to describe the MRI features of patients with Parsonage-Turner syndrome. Familiarity with the MRI features associated with this entity is important because radiologists may be the first to suggest the diagnosis. Twenty-six patients with Parsonage-Turner syndrome were treated at our institution between 1997 and 2005. We retrospectively reviewed the MR images of patients with clinical or electromyographic evidence (or both) of acute brachial neuritis without a definable cause.

Conclusion: MRI of the brachial plexus and shoulder in patients with Parsonage-Turner syndrome showed intramuscular denervation changes involving one or more muscle groups of the shoulder girdle. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles were the most commonly involved. MRI is sensitive for detecting signal abnormalities in the muscles of the shoulder girdle of patients with Parsonage-Turner syndrome. MRI may be instrumental in accurately diagnosing the syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus / pathology*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoulder / pathology*