MRI of brachial plexopathies

Clin Radiol. 2009 Feb;64(2):208-18. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2008.08.011. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the primary imaging technique in the evaluation of brachial plexus pathology, and plays an important role in the identification, localization, and characterization of the cause. Improvements in MRI technique have helped in detecting changes in the signal intensity of nerves, subtle enhancement, and in detecting perineural pathology, thereby refining the differential diagnosis. The present review of the visualization of brachial plexus abnormalities using MRI is based on a review of 26 cases. The causes include trauma and a spectrum of non-traumatic causes, such as acute idiopathic/viral plexitis, metastases, immune-mediated plexitis, and mass lesions compressing the brachial plexus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus / anatomy & histology
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / diagnosis
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / diagnosis*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome / diagnosis