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MR Imaging of the Brachial Plexus.

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    MR Imaging of the Brachial Plexus. By h w van es. (Pp 131.) Published by Febodruk B V, Utrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-393-1429-2.

    This book is a good description of the normal anatomy and imaging findings of some of the most common clinical conditions affecting the brachial plexus. I am sure that it will be useful for neuroradiologists and general radiologists confronted with clinical questions about brachial plexus pathology.

    The book summarises the author's own experience during 5 years and includes about 230 MRI studies performed in patients with suspected brachial plexus pathology. The book is overall well written, in simple and concise language. Tables and good quality figures are well explained, and contain interesting information. The number and quality of the references are adequate. The book is divided into six chapters. This division results in a well balanced book in general, although some chapters may be too extensive when one considers the more limited author's own experience. The anatomical description of the brachial plexus in chapter 2 is one of the best depicted parts of the book, and I am sure that it will be very useful for radiologists. On the contrary, the section dealing with imaging techniques is somewhat long and confusing. Some studies comparing the efficacy of different techniques are missing, something which I am sure would have enhanced the work significantly, and at the end of this section, the reader does not really know which imaging techniques to choose for a simple examination of the brachial plexus. I was more than pleased that in the chapter on trauma and the thoracic artlet syndrome that the author's experience agrees with my own of MRI not being very helpful here. There is a chapter on radiation induced brachial plexopathy, not an infrequent disorder in hospitals with large oncology units, but only three cases are presented. The last chapter deals with inflammatory conditions such as multifocal motor neuropathy and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, and the ability of MRI to differentiate them from others having a similar clinical presentation (lower motor neuron disease). In my opinion, this is probably the most interesting chapter of the book, as it covers a novel subject.

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