Computed tomography of masses of the brachial plexus and contributing nerve roots in dogs

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Rudich SR, Feeney DA, Anderson KL, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2004;45:46-50.

A retrospective analysis of masses of the brachial plexus and contributing nerve roots in dogs seen at the University of Minnesota over a 17-year period was conducted. The goal of the study was to characterize their computed tomographic (CT) appearance and determine the minimum mass size confidently detectable. Twenty-four cases with a recorded diagnosis of brachial plexus or caudal cervical nerve root mass were found, wherein both the medical records and CT images were available for evaluation. These masses were characterized based on the presence or absence of contrast enhancement, margin character, size, extent of local invasion, and presence of vertebral canal or spinal cord involvement. Within the limits of this study, and the available histopathology, there appeared to be no clinically exploitable relationship between the tomographic appearance and the histologic interpretation. Twenty masses were noted to contrast enhance, typically with rim enhancement and a hypodense center. Only two dogs had a palpable axillary mass on physical examination. As measured, based on the largest dimension within a single slice, detectable masses ranged from 1.0 to 6.5 cm.