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Sectional Neuroanatomy of the Upper Limb I: Brachial Plexus

Taber, Katherine H.; Maravilla, Kenneth; Chiou-Tan, Faye; Hayman, L. Anne

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: November-December 2000 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 983-986
Graphic Anatomy

This series of three articles is structured to provide anatomically accurate functional schematics of the motor and sensory innervation of the shoulder and upper limb. This first paper provides radiographically oriented sagittal sections through the brachial plexus to assist in directly identifying a plexal lesion. A coronal schematic of the brachial plexus and summary table allows prediction of unique patterns of denervation from 19 lesion sites. Correlation between the lesion and the denervation pattern ensures the lesion is, in fact, clinically significant. The next two articles will present a color-coded atlas that allows the radiologist to quickly assess patterns of denervated muscles and thereby indirectly localize the lesion site. Thus, the three articles can be used together to predict the clinical picture for a given nerve lesion or extrapolate lesion location when a constellation of denervated muscles are seen on an upper limb magnetic resonance imaging or electromyographic study.

From the Department of Radiology (K. H. Taber, L. A. Hayman), Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (K. H. Taber, L. A. Hayman), Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (F. Chiou-Tan), and Herbert J. Frensley Center for Imaging Research (K. H. Taber, L. A. Hayman), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas , and the Department of Radiology (K. Maravilla), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. L. A. Hayman, Department of Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030-3498, U.S.A. E-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.