Nov 2, 2016

Brachial metastatic plexopathy as the inaugural manifestation of lung cancer: multimodality imaging

BJR Case Reports
Bruno CoulierFabienne Richelle


Metastatic infiltration of a peripheral plexus, also named metastatic plexopathy (MP), often results in severe pain and muscular weakness. This rather rare event may have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of patients affected by cancer. We hereby report a rare case of painful MP of the left cervicobrachial plexus presenting as the inaugural manifestation of poorly differentiated large-cell lung carcinoma in a 53-year-old patient. This responsible lung carcinoma was fortuitously diagnosed during MRI of the brachial plexus (BP). Complementary cancer staging was completed by contrast-enhanced multidetector CT, 18-fludeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/CT and colour Doppler ultrasound of the BP. Although MRI remains the gold standard method for imaging the BP, our reported case emphasizes the alternative diagnostic capabilities of contrast-enhanced multidetector CT and ultrasound and confirms the high specificity of 18-fludeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/CT in distinguishing brachial MP from secondary radiation plexopathy.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Radiation Induced Brachial Plexopathy
Entire Brachial Plexus
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography With Computed Tomography
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Positron-Emission Tomography
Peripheral Nerve Plexus
Color Doppler Ultrasound
X-Ray Computed Tomography

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