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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Parsonage Turner syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute brachial neuritis
  • Acute brachial neuritis syndrome
  • Acute brachial radiculitis syndrome
  • Acute shoulder neuritis
  • Neuralgic amyotrophy
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Overview



What is Parsonage Turner syndrome?

What are the signs and symptoms of Parsonage Turner syndrome?


What is Parsonage Turner syndrome?

Parsonage Turner syndrome, also called brachial neuritis, is characterized by the sudden onset of shoulder and upper arm pain followed by marked upper arm weakness or atrophy. Individuals may present with the condition several weeks after an injury, infection or immunization, or in the absence of an obvious inciting event.[1] Treatment is symptomatic and may include pain relievers and physical therapy.[2] Although affected individuals may experience paralysis of the affected areas that lasts for months or even years, prognosis is generally favorable with most individuals experiencing complete recovery within 2 years.[1][2]
Last updated: 1/15/2013

What are the signs and symptoms of Parsonage Turner syndrome?

Parsonage Turner syndrome is usually characterized by sudden onset of severe pain across the shoulder and upper arm. In some cases, the pain may radiate down the arm and into the hand. The degree and intensity of pain varies among affected individuals. Some individuals do not feel pain but experience weakness. Typically, localized pain around the shoulder girdle is present.

Within a few hours or days of symptom onset, affected individuals may experience muscle weakness, wasting (atrophy), numbness (hyperesthesia), and paralysis of the affected shoulder muscles. In rare cases, muscles of the hand and fingers may also be affected. The condition may affect one or both sides of the body. Symptoms usually go away within a few months but in some individuals, they can last a few years.[3]
Last updated: 1/15/2013

References
  1. Parsonage Turner Syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdbdetail_abstract.html?disname=Parsonage%20Turner%20Syndrome. Accessed 1/3/2011.
  2. Kolev I. Parsonage-Turner syndrome. Orphanet. 2004; http://www.orphanet.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=2901. Accessed 1/3/2011.
  3. Parsonage Turner Syndrome. NORD. April 25, 2008; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/726/viewAbstract. Accessed 1/15/2013.