Parsonage-Turner syndrome

Case contributed by Dr Badis Al Harbawi


Shoulder pain for several months, not responding to treatment.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

There is edema involving supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles with loss of volume and fatty infiltration of both muscles, mainly supraspinatus.

The other rotator cuff muscles, as well as deltoid muscle, are normal in size and signal intensity.

No rotator cuff tear. No masses or cysts in the region of the suprascapular and spinoglenoid notches. No paralabral cysts. Normal looking quadrilateral space.

Normal glenoid labrum and articular surface. Normal bone marrow signal. No joint effusion.

Case Discussion

Appearances in this case are highly suggestive of Parsonage-Turner syndrome, as there is no compression of the suprascapular nerve by a cyst or a mass.

Parsonage-Turner syndrome is an acute idiopathic brachial neuritis. Males are affected more than females. Two-thirds of cases are unilateral.

The suprascapular nerve is involved in almost all cases. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles are commonly involved, followed by the deltoid muscle.

The affected muscles look initially normal. After few weeks, edema due to denervation develops in the involved muscles and gradual loss of muscle volume and fatty infiltration take place.

The disease is self-limiting and treatment is conservative.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 81365
Published: 25th Aug 2020
Last edited: 7th Jul 2021
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Ibn Al Haitham hospital

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.