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Clin Anat. 1995;8(1):1-16.

Compromising abnormalities of the brachial plexus as displayed by magnetic resonance imaging.

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1
UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Radiological Sciences 90024-1721.

Abstract

Magnetic resonance images (MRI) of brachial plexus anatomy bilaterally, not possible by plain radiographs or CT, were presented to the Vascular Surgery, Neurology, and the Neurosurgery departments. Patients were requested for MRI of their brachial plexus. They were referred for imaging and the imaging results were presented to the faculty and housestaff. Our technique was accepted and adopted to begin referrals for MRI evaluation of brachial plexopathy. Over 175 patients have been studied. Eighty-five patients were imaged with the 1.5 Tesla magnet (Signa; General Electric Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) 3-D reconstruction MRI. Coronal, transverse (axial), oblique transverse, and sagittal plane T1-weighted and selected T2-weighted pulse sequences were obtained at 4-5 mm slice thickness, 40-45 full field of view, and a 512 x 256 size matrix. Saline water bags were used to enhance the signal between the neck and the thorax. Sites of brachial plexus compromise were demonstrated. Our technique with 3-D reconstruction increased the definition of brachial plexus pathology. The increased anatomical definition enabled the vascular surgeons and neurosurgeons to improve patient care. Brachial plexus in vivo anatomy as displayed by MRI, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and 3-D reconstruction offered an opportunity to augment the teaching of clinical anatomy to medical students and health professionals. Selected case presentations (bodybuilder, anomalous muscle, fractured clavicle, thyroid goiter, silicone breast implant rupture, and cervical rib) demonstrated compromise of the brachial plexus displayed by MRI. The MRI and 3-D reconstruction techniques, demonstrating the bilateral landmark anatomy, increased the definition of the clinical anatomy and resulted in greater knowledge of patient care management.

PMID:
7697507
DOI:
10.1002/ca.980080102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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