Magnetic resonance neurography for mapping peripheral nerve damage in alcohol-related polyneuropathy

Takeaway

  • Magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) was able to detect peripheral nerve damage in alcohol-dependent patients (ADPs) both with and without clinically diagnosed alcohol-related polyneuropathy (ALN). 

Why this matters

  • In the US, 25–66% of ADPs are diagnosed with ALN. ALN is a slowly progressive polyneuropathy (PNP) characterized by early sensory symptom predominance followed by motor weakness and autonomic dysfunction.

  • The gold standard for diagnosing PNP is a combination of neurologic examination and nerve-conduction-studies. However, this approach has several well-known limitations.

  • High-resolution MRN is capable of visualizing peripheral nerve lesions in vivo and is an ideal modality to characterize nerve damage in ALN. This could lead to an improved understanding of the pathogenesis of ALN and a more sensitive diagnostic tool.