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Wolf M.,University of Heidelberg | Baumer P.,University of Heidelberg | Pedro M.,University of Ulm | Dombert T.,Center for Peripheral Nerve Surgery | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Sciatic nerve palsy related to hip replacement surgery (HRS) is among the most common causes of sciatic neuropathies. The sciatic nerve may be injured by various different periprocedural mechanisms. The precise localization and extension of the nerve lesion, the determination of nerve continuity, lesion severity, and fascicular lesion distribution are essential for assessing the potential of spontaneous recovery and thereby avoiding delayed or inappropriate therapy. Adequate therapy is in many cases limited to conservative management, but in certain cases early surgical exploration and release of the nerve is indicated. Nerve-conduction-studies and electromyography are essential in the diagnosis of nerve injuries. In postsurgical nerve injuries, additional diagnostic imaging is important as well, in particular to detect or rule out direct mechanical compromise. Especially in the presence of metallic implants, commonly applied diagnostic imaging tests generally fail to adequately visualize nervous tissue. MRI has been deemed problematic due to implant-related artifacts after HRS. In this study, we describe for the first time the spectrum of imaging findings of Magnetic Resonance neurography (MRN) employing pulse sequences relatively insensitive to susceptibility artifacts (susceptibility insensitive MRN, siMRN) in a series of 9 patients with HRS procedure related sciatic nerve palsy. We were able to determine the localization and fascicular distribution of the sciatic nerve lesion in all 9 patients, which clearly showed on imaging predominant involvement of the peroneal more than the tibial division of the sciatic nerve. In 2 patients siMRN revealed direct mechanical compromise of the nerve by surgical material, and in one of these cases indication for surgical release of the sciatic nerve was based on siMRN. Thus, in selected cases of HRS related neuropathies, especially when surgical exploration of the nerve is considered, siMRN, with its potential to largely overcome implant related artifacts, is a useful diagnostic addition to nerve-conduction-studies and electromyography. © 2014 Wolf et al. Source

Baumer P.,University of Heidelberg | Dombert T.,Center for Peripheral Nerve Surgery | Staub F.,Center for Peripheral Nerve Surgery | Kaestel T.,University of Heidelberg | And 4 more authors.
Radiology | Year: 2011

Purpose: To assess nerve T2 signal and caliber as diagnostic signs at magnetic resonance (MR) neurography in ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE). Materials and Methods: This prospective study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Twenty patients with UNE were graded by using clinical criteria and nerve conduction studies as mild(n = 12) and severe(n = 8) and were compared with 20 healthy control subjects. All subjects underwent ulnar nerve MR neurography (in-plane resolution of 0.4 x 0.4 mm) covering the elbow region, including T2-weighted imaging with fat suppression (turbo inversion-recovery magnitude sequence: repetition time msec/echo time msec/inversion time msec, 6, 120/66/180) and T1-weighted turbo spin-echo imaging (843/16). Nerve T2 signal increase, measured by using T2-weighted contrast-to-noise ratios across the cubital tunnel, and nerve caliber, determined by using T1-weighted pixelwise measurement of cross-sectional nerve area, were evaluated as diagnostic signs. Qualitative assessment by using visual grading was performed additionally. Results: Diagnostic performance, as determined with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), was excellent for nerve T2 signal to discriminate UNE from a normal finding (AUC = 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.87, 1.00) and was excellent for nerve caliber to discriminate severe from mild UNE (AUC = 0.95; 95% CI: 0.85, 1.00). Qualitative assessment demonstrated sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 85% for MR neurography of UNE. Conclusion: Nerve T2 signal increase seems to be an accurate sign to determine the presence of UNE. Nerve caliber enlargement discriminates severe from mild UNE. UNE may be diagnosed with high accuracy by means of quantitative or qualitative evaluation of these signs. © RSNA, 2011. Source

Baumer P.,University of Heidelberg | Weiler M.,University of Heidelberg | Ruetters M.,University of Heidelberg | Staub F.,Center for Peripheral Nerve Surgery | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Purpose: Patients with ulnar neuropathy of unclear etiology occasionally present with lesion extension from elbow to upper arm level on MRI. This study investigated whether MRI thereby distinguishes multifocal neuropathy from focal-compressive neuropathy at the elbow. Methods: This prospective study was approved by the institutional ethics committee and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. 122 patients with ulnar mononeuropathy of undetermined localization and etiology by clinical and electrophysiological examination were assessed by MRI at upper arm and elbow level using T2-weighted fat-saturated sequences at 3T. Twenty-one patients were identified with proximal ulnar nerve lesions and evaluated for findings suggestive of disseminated neuropathy (i) subclinical lesions in other nerves, (ii) unfavorable outcome after previous decompressive elbow surgery, and (iii) subsequent diagnosis of inflammatory or other disseminated neuropathy. Two groups served as controls for quantitative analysis of nerve-to-muscle signal intensity ratios: 20 subjects with typical focal ulnar neuropathy at the elbow and 20 healthy subjects. Results: In the group of 21 patients with proximal ulnar nerve lesion extension, T2-w ulnar nerve signal was significantly (p<0.001) higher at upper arm level than in both control groups. A cut-off value of 1.92 for maximum nerve-to-muscle signal intensity ratio was found to be sensitive (86%) and specific (100%) to discriminate this group. Ten patients (48%) exhibited additional T2-w lesions in the median and/or radial nerve. Another ten (48%) had previously undergone elbow surgery without satisfying outcome. Clinical follow-up was available in 15 (71%) and revealed definitive diagnoses of multifocal neuropathy of various etiologies in four patients. In another eight, diagnoses could not yet be considered definitive but were consistent with multifocal neuropathy. Conclusion: Proximal ulnar nerve T2 lesions at upper arm level are detected by MRI and indicate the presence of a non-focal disseminated neuropathy instead of a focal compressive neuropathy. © 2012 Bäumer et al. Source

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