SU-F-R-06: Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injury Imaging, Developing a Coherent Clinical Protocol From Literature Review Through Practice




Medical Physics teams can now play a critical role to help plan and provide studied approaches for traumatic brachial plexus MR imaging (tbpMRI). This is especially important for coordination with uncommon applications, since it is challenging to select the right modality, parameters, and train technologists on the essential components. For this work, we started with a review of the medical literature, performed crossover/volunteer studies to bring tbpMRI to practice with greater image QC and protocol management.


To the best of our knowledge, we reviewed the known searchable domain for tbpMRI. We found 69 total articles since 2000. Articles were evaluated with our published protocol for literature management (LIMES3). Two physicists and two radiologists condensed the information from all articles into a knowledgebase.


The initial literature demonstrated great heterogeneity, which was a sign that this area needed greater consistency. Despite inconsistency and imprecision, we extracted the most relevant targets using our long-term experience with protocol development in MSK. We ran volunteers on six different magnets of various field strengths with multiple receiver coils, and rebuilt a coherent protocol for tbpMRI. Our radiologists rated LIMES3 work as superior. We have received referrals from the ER and have conducted four patient evaluations.


Traumatic brachial plexus MRI has great possible benefits for patients. This work supports the complexity of tbpMRI scanning. As this is rarely performed, it requires a more diligent protocol workflow, coordination of caregivers, and education within multiple clinical departments. Choosing the correct imaging exam can be critical, as patients can have significant neuropathy and/or paralysis. The LIMES3 protocol is well liked at our institution, and forms the cornerstone of understanding for our work. Our literature management led to a better clinical protocol creation despite the diffuse and inconclusive information presented in the existing medical literature.