Multimodality Imaging of Peripheral Neuropathies of the Upper Limb and Brachial Plexus
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The peripheral nerves of the upper limb are affected by a number of entrapment and compression neuropathies. These discrete syndromes involve the brachial plexus as well as the musculocutaneous, axillary, suprascapular, ulnar, radial, and median nerves. Clinical examination and electrophysiologic studies are the traditional mainstay of diagnostic work-up; however, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging provide spatial information regarding the affected nerve and its surroundings, often assisting in narrowing the differential diagnosis and guiding treatment. Imaging is particularly valuable in complex cases with discrepant nerve function test results. Familiarity with the clinical features of various peripheral neuropathies of the upper extremity, the relevant anatomy, and the most common sites and causes of nerve entrapment assists in diagnosis and treatment.
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