Sonographic evaluation of uncommonly assessed upper extremity peripheral nerves: anatomy, technique, and clinical syndromes
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Targeted ultrasound of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves is a well-established technique for suspected upper extremity peripheral neuropathy. However, sonographic imaging of the brachial plexus and smaller peripheral nerve branches is more technically difficult and the anatomy is less familiar to many radiologists. As imaging techniques improve, many clinicians refer patients for imaging of previously less-familiar structures. In addition, some patients may present with injuries that could involve local neurovascular structures. Finally, patients presenting with isolated peripheral neuropathies may be referred for perineural injections with local anesthetic for diagnostic purposes, or steroid for therapeutic reasons. This requires sonologists to have a firm understanding of the courses of these nerves and the surrounding anatomic landmarks that can be used to accurately identify and characterize them. We discuss clinical syndromes referable to specific peripheral nerve branches in the upper extremity, the relevant anatomy, and sonographic technique.
KeywordsUltrasound Peripheral nerve Perineural injection
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