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Neuroradiology. 2011 Jan;53(1):3-11. doi: 10.1007/s00234-010-0684-7. Epub 2010 Apr 20.

Brachial and lumbar plexuses in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: MRI assessment including apparent diffusion coefficient.

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Department of Radiology, National Center Hospital of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.



Our purpose was to clarify the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging characteristics of the brachial and lumbar plexuses in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) using various kinds of sequences, including diffusion-weighted images (DWI).


We evaluated the MR imaging findings for lumbar and/or brachial nerve plexuses in 13 CIDP patients and 11 normal volunteers. The nerve swelling was evaluated in comparison with normal controls by coronal short tau inversion recovery (STIR), and signal abnormalities were evaluated by coronal STIR, T1-weighted images, and DWIs. The degrees of contrast enhancement and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of the plexus were also assessed.


In the patient group, diffuse enlargement and abnormally high signals were detected in 16 out of 24 plexuses (66.7%) on STIR, a slightly high signal was detected in 12 of 24 plexuses (50%) on T1-weighted images, and a high-intensity signal was detected in 10 of 18 plexuses (55.6%) on DWIs with high ADC values. Contrast enhancement of the plexuses was revealed in 6 of 19 plexuses (31.6%) and was mild in all cases. There were statistically significant differences between the ADC values of patients with either swelling or abnormal signals and those of both normal volunteers and patients without neither swelling nor abnormal signals. There were no relationships between MR imaging and any clinical findings.


STIR is sufficient to assist clinicians in diagnosing CIDP. T1-weighted images and DWIs seemed useful for speculating about the pathological changes in swollen plexuses in CIDP patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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