Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Peripheral Nerve

  • Roberto GasparottiEmail author
  • Michela Leali
Living reference work entry


The diagnostic work-up of peripheral neuropathies has traditionally relied on the patient’s clinical history, physical examination, and electrophysiological studies. However, these diagnostic tools have limitations to display the anatomic detail needed for precise localization and treatment planning. Technical advances are rapidly changing the clinical and instrumental approach to peripheral nerve diseases, and radiological techniques such as nerve ultrasound and magnetic resonance neurography are increasingly being used in the investigation of the peripheral nerve system in addition to diagnostic modalities such as neurophysiology. The recent progresses in the design of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems and image acquisition techniques (e.g., pulse sequences) can provide high-resolution peripheral nerve imaging and excellent assessment of nerve size, morphology, and internal fascicular structure. Clinical neuroradiology plays a crucial role in improving the diagnosis, addressing the treatments, and allowing a better prognosis of peripheral nerve damage.

This chapter reviews the new imaging techniques and their impact on patients’ diagnosis and treatment strategies in the principal categories of peripheral nerve diseases, such as nerve trauma, entrapments, tumors, and diffuse neuropathies, and discusses the role of most promising research findings with potential applicability to the clinical practice.


Diffusion tensor imaging Entrapment MRI MR neurography Nerve tumor Peripheral neuropathy Traumatic nerve injury 


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Suggested Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head of Neuroradiology UnitUniversity Hospital Spedali Civili di BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, Section of NeuroradiologyUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly
  3. 3.Radiology residentUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mike Wattjes
    • 1
  1. 1.VUMCAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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