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Open Access 26-07-2023 | Neuralgic Shoulder Amyotrophy | Case Report

Increased 18 F-FDG uptake in denervated muscles in a case of Parsonage-Turner syndrome

Authors: Ping-I Chiang, Chiung-Mei Chen

Published in: BMC Neurology | Issue 1/2023

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Abstract

Background

Parsonage-Turner Syndrome (PTS) is a rare brachial plexopathy characterized by the sudden onset of pain in the shoulder girdle followed by upper limb weakness. PTS is frequently under-recognized or misdiagnosed as other more common neurological disorders presenting in a similar fashion, such as cervical radiculopathy which may require surgical intervention. Accurate diagnosis and prompt management implicate a good prognosis. Although electrophysiological studies are considered the most important for evaluating peripheral nerve injuries, it usually takes time, up to 3 weeks after the initial insult of the nerve for electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) to display abnormalities. In the cases of PTS, especially when initial EMG/NCS and magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) results are inconclusive, 18 F-FDG positron emission tomography and computed tomography (18 F-FDG PET-CT) may be useful in helping the early detection of muscle denervation.

Case presentation

A 60-year-old right-handed Taiwanese woman presented with sudden onset of intense and sharp left shoulder girdle pain without radiating to the arm, followed by muscle weakness of her left arm in abduction and elevation 3 days after the onset of pain. A detailed neurological examination and EMG and NCS suggested the clinical diagnosis of left brachial plexopathy. MRN imaging revealed no significant abnormality. 18 F-FDG PET-CT showed increased uptake in denervated muscles (supraspinatus, deltoid, and biceps muscles). Treatment with oral prednisolone and physiotherapy significantly improved pain and muscle weakness.

Conclusions

We present increased 18 F-FDG uptake in denervated muscles detected by 18 F-FDG PET-CT. 18 F-FDG PET-CT may serve as an adjunct examination to evaluate PTS, which has been suggested previously but rarely reported.
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Metadata
Title
Increased 18 F-FDG uptake in denervated muscles in a case of Parsonage-Turner syndrome
Authors
Ping-I Chiang
Chiung-Mei Chen
Publication date
26-07-2023
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published in
BMC Neurology / Issue 1/2023
Electronic ISSN: 1471-2377
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-023-03328-x

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