Cervicobrachial involvement in diabetic radiculoplexopathy

Jonathan S. Katz, David S. Saperstein, Gil Wolfe, Sharon P. Nations, Husam Alkhersam, Anthony A. Amato, Richard J. Barohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Diabetic radiculoplexopathy is commonly viewed as a condition affecting the lower extremities. However, other regions may also be affected and the presence of upper extremity involvement has rarely been emphasized. Our goal was to illustrate the clinical features of arm involvement in this condition. Of 60 patients with diabetic lumbosacral radiculoplexopathy, we identified 9 who also had upper extremity involvement. The study included 8 men and 1 woman, ranging in age from 36 to 71 years. Upper limb involvement developed simultaneously with the onset of lower limb disorder in 1 patient, preceded it by 2 months in another patient, and occurred between 3 weeks and 15 months later in the remaining 7. In 5 cases, arm involvement developed after symptoms in the legs began to improve. The upper extremity weakness affected the hands and forearms most severely. It was unilateral in 5 patients and bilateral but asymmetric in 4. Pain was often present, but it was not a prominent feature. In most patients, neurologic deficits in the arms improved spontaneously after 2-9 months. We conclude that diabetic radiculoplexopathy may involve the cervical region before, after, or simultaneously with the lumbosacral syndrome. The upper limb process is similar to that in the legs, with subacutely progressive weakness and pain followed by spontaneous recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-798
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 6 2001


  • Cervicobrachial involvement in diabetic radiculoplexopathy
  • Diabetic amyotrophy
  • Diabetic lumbosacral radiculoplexopathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Upper limb weakness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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