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Epidemiological, clinical, and electrophysiological findings in dogs and cats with traumatic brachial plexus injury

Forty-six percent of affected animals were injured before 2 years of age


The imaging and electrodiagnostic (EDX) characteristics of traumatic brachial plexus injury (TBPI) are incompletely reported.

To describe the epidemiological, clinical, and EDX characteristics of TBPIs in a series of cases in dogs and cats; to determine the association between clinical data, EDX findings, and clinical outcomes; and to assess the sensitivity and specificity of EDX studies to classify nerve lesions.

One hundred and seventy-five dogs and 51 cats with TBPI and EDX exploration of radial nerve, ulnar nerve, or both nerves.

Retrospective case series. All medical records were searched for dogs and cats presenting with TBPIs that underwent EDX exploration. Epidemiological, clinical, EDX, and follow-up data were extracted. Association between clinical data, EDX findings, and clinical outcomes was explored.

Forty-six percent of affected animals were injured before 2 years of age and 57% of dogs weighed more than 20 kg. The radial compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude for dogs and cats that had clinical improvement was higher than in animals without improvement (4.3 mV [0-23.6] vs 0 mV [0-2.4], respectively, P = .02). A discriminating radial CMAP amplitude threshold value of 5 mV had a specificity of 93% (95% CI [80-100]) to predict recovery.

Electrodiagnostic studies, particularly measurement of radial CMAP amplitude, are valuable diagnostic tests to refine the prognosis of these animals.


“Epidemiological, clinical, and electrophysiological findings in dogs and cats with traumatic brachial plexus injury: A retrospective study of 226 cases”. Thibaut Troupel, et al. J Vet Intern Med. 2021 Oct 2.  doi: 10.1111/jvim.16254.

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