MR imaging of the brachial plexus

Igor Mikityansky, Eric L. Zager, David M. Yousem, Laurie A. Loevner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


MR imaging of the brachial plexus assesses the continuity of the elements, relationship, and orientation of lesions, evaluates morphology, and reveals secondary features of plexopathies. The selection of sequences and imaging planes is guided by the history, clinical examination, and suspected type and location of the abnormality. Increased magnet strength and isotropic imaging with multiplanar reconstructions may allow for standardized imaging protocols and shorter examination time. This article discusses MR imaging evaluation of the brachial plexus, relevant anatomy, and common pathology with clinical and imaging details, indications for use of intravenous contrast, differential considerations, and diagnostic pitfalls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-826
Number of pages36
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Brachial plexitis
  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Brachial plexus
  • Immune mediated neuropathy
  • Parsonage-Turner syndrome
  • Radiation plexopathy
  • Root avulsion
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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