Brachial Plexus Ultrasound And Mri In Children With Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
Oguz, K. K.
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Brachial plexus birth injury is caused by traction on the neck during delivery and results in flaccid palsy of an upper extremity commonly involving C5-C6 nerve roots. MR imaging and MR myelography help to assess the anatomic location, extent, and severity of brachial plexus injuries which influence the long-term prognosis along with the surgical decision making. Recently, sonography has been increasingly used as the imaging modality of choice for brachial plexus injuries. The aim of this study was to assess the degree of correlation among brachial plexus sonography, MR imaging, and surgical findings in children with brachial plexus birth injury. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective study included 55 consecutive patients (girls/boys = 32:23; mean age, 2.1 0.8 months) with brachial plexus birth injury between May 2014 and April 2017. The patients were classified according to the Narakas classification and were followed up at 4- to 6-week intervals for recovery by the Modified Mallet system and sonography without specific preparation for evaluation. All patients had MR imaging under general anesthesia. Nerve root avulsion-retraction, pseudomeningocele, and periscalene soft tissue were accepted brachial plexus injury findings on imaging. Interobserver agreement for MR imaging and the agreement between imaging and surgical findings were estimated using the statistic. The diagnostic accuracy of sonography and MR imaging was calculated on the basis of the standard reference, which was the surgical findings. RESULTS: Forty-three patients had pre- and postganglionic injury, 12 had only postganglionic injury findings, and 47% of patients underwent an operation. On sonography, no patients had preganglionic injury, but all patients had postganglionic injury findings. For postganglionic injury, the concordance rates between imaging and the surgical findings ranged from 84% to 100%, and the diagnostic accuracy of sonography and MR imaging was 89% and 100%, respectively. For preganglionic injury, the diagnostic accuracy of MR imaging was 92%. Interobserver agreement and the agreement between imaging and the surgical findings were almost perfect for postganglionic injury ( = 0.81-1, P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: High-resolution sonography can identify and locate the postganglionic injury associated with the upper and middle trunks. The ability of sonography to evaluate pre- and the postganglionic injury associated with the lower trunk was quite limited. Sonography can be used as a complement to MR imaging; thus, the duration of the MR imaging examination and the need for sedation can be reduced by sonography.