Brachial Plexus Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that produces three-dimensional images of the region of the brachial plexus in multiple different planes. The brachial plexus refers to a group of nerves traveling between the shoulder and neck. The brachial plexus provides both sensory and motor innervation to the upper extremity. MR imaging is performed to evaluate for causes of a brachial plexopathy.
Locations Offering This Procedure:
Who Needs This Procedure?
Patients with symptoms such as upper extremity pain, numbness, weakness or muscle wasting may be asked to undergo MRI testing by their doctor.
Women who are pregnant are advised not to undergo MRI procedures.
Preparing For The Procedure:
Patients should remove all metal objects from their person prior to the procedure, as the magnetic field of the exam unit may be interfered with. Notify your doctor of any implants, dental materials or other metal objects that are in your body, in order to minimize complications. Your doctor may advise you not to eat or drink before the procedure if a contrast material is being used.
During The Procedure:
The patient lays on the exam table for the entirety of the procedure. If necessary, a contrast material will be administered intravenously. While the MRI unit is capturing images, the exam table will move the patient through, building a 3D image. Most procedures last about 45 minutes.
What Will I Experience?
Some patients may feel anxious about being inside a traditional “closed” MRI machine. “Open” MRI units are available for patients who would prefer it, especially those with claustrophobia. However, the capabilities of the “open” MRI unit are usually less than that of a “closed” unit.
MRI technology offers detection of soft-tissue abnormalities in a non-invasive way. MRI does not emit radiation, making it a safe alternative to other imaging technology.