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MR Neurography: Can Peripheral Nerve Imaging Refocus Pain Diagnostics?

Practical Pain Management publishes a Q&A with Darryl B. Sneag, MD, radiologist at HSS, and John A. Carrino, MD, MPH, vice chairman of Radiology at HSS, on peripheral nerve imaging. Recent advances in magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) have led it to become an essential resource when diagnosing peripheral neuropathy. 

Dr. Sneag explains that peripheral nerve imaging is somewhat of a biomarker and can help treat complex conditions such as Parsonage-Turner Syndrome. "Biomarkers that can identify specific diseases and place patients into categories can better direct treatment. We want to know precisely what we are treating. An objective diagnosis through imaging can also help with longitudinal monitoring to see how nerves improve, or don't improve, over time."

When looking at the growing subfield of MR neurology, Dr. Carrino explains that not all readers are created equal. "There are specialized protocols we use at HSS that require interaction with other multidisciplinary providers for optimal outcomes. This involves understanding imaging and understanding the disease process—that specific interaction is key. I would advise pain providers to seek out professionals who really know how to image the peripheral nerves rather than sending patients to the closest or most convenient location, which may not result in the most accurate information."

Read the full article at PracticalPainManagement.com. This also appears in Volume 18, Issue #9.