MRI of Muscle Denervation in Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disorders

  • Mirko Pham
  • Marcel Wolf
  • Philipp Bäumer
  • Martin Bendszus
  • Gregor Kasprian
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


High-resolution MR imaging of peripheral nerves, also termed MR-Neurography, is becoming more common and practical for lesion localization with the increasing availability of 3 T magnets. This book chapter reports on the role of MR imaging in peripheral neuropathies with particular emphasis of denervation related changes of the muscles supplied by affected nerves and gives a brief overview of the added value of MRI in neurogenic myopathies. In acute muscle denervation, an increase of intramuscular T2-signal and gadolinium-enhancement can be observed and reversal of these signal changes may indicate reinnervation and treatment success. In contrast to the denervation patterns in complete radiculopathies and plexopathies, in multifocal neuropathies the muscle T2 signal increase is distributed more heterogeneously involving muscles typically supplied by more than one nerve trunk. Furthermore, T2 signal increase in multifocal nerve lesions typically involves not entire muscle bellies but only confined zones within a muscle belly. Several advanced techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging or MRI perfusion have become available for muscle imaging. The latter, by dynamic measurement of contrast enhancement seems particularly promising in quantifying denervation related alteration of the muscle microvasculature.


Fractional Anisotropy Diffusion Tensor Imaging Brachial Plexus Ulnar Nerve Radial Nerve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirko Pham
    • 1
  • Marcel Wolf
    • 1
  • Philipp Bäumer
    • 1
  • Martin Bendszus
    • 1
  • Gregor Kasprian
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeuroradiologyHeidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided TherapyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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