Brachial Neuritis Follow-up

Updated: Jan 18, 2017
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

The treatment of brachial neuritis (BN) usually is completed conservatively on an outpatient basis. Surgical intervention is indicated for patients who do not demonstrate good recovery after 2 years of conservative care. Please refer to the Rehabilitation Program section for a discussion of outpatient rehabilitation and treatment options for individuals with BN.

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Complications

Shoulder joint contractures (and potentially others) can occur. Sudden, severe dyspnea due to phrenic nerve involvement may be noted with or without other symptoms of brachial neuritis; however, there should be no other evidence of lung disease.

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Prognosis

Eighty percent of patients with brachial neuritis recover functionally within 2 years; 90% recover functionally within 3 years. [4]  A study by Feinberg et al found that at a mean period of 1 year, 31% of affected nerves in the study (or 52.9% of those in patients followed up for a full year) with Parsonage-Turner syndrome (acute brachial neuritis) had achieved complete electrodiagnostic recovery. [37]

Bilateral disease has a less favorable outcome than does unilateral disease, while lower trunk lesions have a less favorable prognosis than do upper trunk lesions.

The rate of recurrence in the inherited form is approximately 75%. The recurrence in the idiopathic form is thought to be between 5% and 26%. [38]

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