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Computerised axial tomography in traction injuries of the brachial plexus

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Severe traction injuries may damage the brachial plexus at any level from the spinal cord to the axillary outlet. Investigation aims to determine the level of the injury for each of the nerves, trunks or cords, with particular reference to obtaining firm evidence of any intradural (pre-ganglionic) damage. We report the results of computerised axial tomography of the cervical spine in comparison with conventional myelography and with surgical exploration of the plexus. CT scanning with contrast enhancement greatly improves diagnostic accuracy, particularly at C5 and C6 root levels.

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