Idiopathic brachial neuritis

Neurosurgery. 2009 Oct;65(4 Suppl):A150-2. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000345355.59438.D1.


Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS) is a rare syndrome of unknown cause, affecting mainly the lower motor neurons of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that conduct signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. PTS is usually characterized by the sudden onset of severe 1-sided shoulder pain, followed by paralysis of the shoulder and lack of muscle control in the arm, wrist, or hand several days later. PTS can vary greatly in presentation and nerve involvement. Also known as brachial plexus neuritis or neuralgic amyotrophy, PTS is a common condition characterized by inflammation of a network of nerves that control and supply, or innervate, the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and arms. Individuals with the condition first experience severe pain across the shoulder and upper arm. Within a few hours or days, weakness, wasting (atrophy), and paralysis may affect the muscles of the shoulder. Although individuals with the condition may experience paralysis of the affected areas for months or, in some cases, years, recovery is usually eventually complete.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus / pathology*
  • Brachial Plexus / physiopathology*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / etiology
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / pathology*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / physiopathology*
  • Causality
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / pathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Paralysis / etiology
  • Paralysis / pathology
  • Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Shoulder / innervation
  • Shoulder / physiopathology