Ultrasonographic evaluation of the iatrogenic peripheral nerve injuries in upper extremity

Eur J Radiol. 2010 Feb;73(2):234-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.10.038. Epub 2008 Dec 11.


The aim of our study is to assess the efficiency of the ultrasonography (US) in the diagnosis of peripheral nerve injury. This study includes nine patients (six radial, one median and two posterior interosseous (PIO) nerves) with peripheral nerve injury diagnosed by clinical and electrophysiological methods in the last 3 years. Preoperatively, an ultrasonographic examination was performed and correlated with physical exam and surgical findings. Five patients, who were diagnosed as peripheral nerve transection by US, underwent surgery. The ultrasonographic findings were concordant with the intraoperative findings. Axonal swelling alone was found in the remaining three patients, who were treated conservatively because of preserved nerve continuity without display of nerve compression. In one patient, we were unable to visualize the nerve due to obesity and soft tissue edema. High-resolution US provide morphological information about the exact location, intensity and extent of the nerve injuries, facilitating the preoperative diagnosis. Thus, US may be a useful method for planning optimal treatment strategy in especially iatrogenic nerve injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries*
  • Peripheral Nerves / ultrastructure*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Young Adult