Evaluation of a Patient with Klumpke's Palsy

D'Amore, A.; Conte, G.; Viglianesi, A.; Chiaramonte, R.; Pero, G.; Chiaramonte, I.
June 2010
Neuroradiology Journal;Jun2010, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p325
Academic Journal
Case Study
Klumpke's palsy is a rare form of paralysis involving the muscles of the forearm and hand, resulting from a brachial plexus injury in which the eighth cervical (C8) and first thoracic (Th1) nerves are injured either before or after they have joined to form the lower trunk. We report a case of a 45 years-old woman with post-traumatic left cervical-brachial pain afflicted by obstetric brachial plexus palsy on the right side. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination of the cervical spine revealed a meningeal stretch in the left side at C7-Th1 level, responsible for pain, and also multiple intraforaminal pseudomeningoceles at C5-C6, C6-C7 and C7-Th1 intersomatic spaces in the right side, due to the perinatal trauma that had determined the obstetric brachial plexus palsy. Spinal pseudomeningocele is an extradural collection of CSF in the surrounding soft tissues due to a dural breach and can represent a predictive finding of injury of the brachial plexus. We obtained clinical and electrophysiological findings of Klumpke's palsy, but MRI examination showed the lack of visualization of C8 and the integrity of Th1 nerve roots and to our knowledge there is no evidence in literature about the possibility to have a partial Klumpke's palsy without Th1 avulsion. The aim of this article was to underline that for the correct assessment of patients with brachial plexus palsy the only use of MRI is insufficient: it is necessary an integration of the information obtained from clinical, elect romyographic and MRI study.


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