Neuromuscular Choristoma-associated Desmoid-type Fibromatosis of the Brachial Plexus: Additional Evidence to Support a Nerve-driven Mechanism

Research Lead-in

Andres A. Maldonado; Tomas Marek; B. Matthew Howe; Stephen M. Broski; Jodi M. Carter Robert J. Spinner



We have recently described circumferential nerve involvement of neuromuscular choristoma associated with desmoid-type fibromatosis (NMC-DTF) in cases involving the sciatic nerve, supporting a nerve-derived mechanism for the DTF. We wondered whether a similar growth pattern occurs in cases involving the brachial plexus (BP).


We reviewed all available magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in patients diagnosed at our institution with NMC or NMC-DTF of the BP. We also performed a literature search of patients with NMC or NMC-DTF of the BP.


In our clinical records, four patients with NMC of the BP were identified, and three developed NMC-DTF. All three patients had MR imaging evidence of circumferential encasement of the BP. In the literature, we identified 15 cases of NMC of the BP, of which 12 had identified NMC-DTF. Four published cases included MR images, and only two were of sufficient quality for review. The single provided image in both cases demonstrated a similar pattern of circumferential encasement of the BP by the NMC-DTF. One additional case report was published without MR images but described circumferential involvement in the surgical findings. One unpublished case of NMC-DTF of the BP from an international radiology meeting also had this circumferential pattern pattern on MRI.


The MRI findings of circumferential nerve involvement in patients with NMC-DTF of the BP are similar to our previously reported data in patients with NMC-DTF of the sciatic nerve, providing further imaging-based support of a nerve-driven mechanism. Clinical implications are presented based on the proposed pathogenetic mechanism.

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