Direct Impact

Concepts for which they have direct influence:

pancoast tumor
cervical radiculopathy
brachial plexopathy
spinal canal
arm numbness
local invasion
subsequent radiologic

Pancoast tumor presenting as cervical radiculopathy.


A case of Pancoast tumor presenting as cervical radiculopathy is reported, including the clinical, EMG, and radiologic findings. A 64-year-old man with a two-month history of left shoulder pain and left arm numbness at the medial aspect of the hand and forearm presented for electrodiagnostic examination, and a severe C8 radiculopathy was documented. Subsequent radiologic evaluation (myelogram and routine chest x-ray) yielded the diagnosis of left apical lung tumor (Pancoast tumor), eroding through the C7 and T1 pedicles and T1 vertebral body, with cut-off of the left C8 nerve root. Pancoast tumor has long been implicated as a cause of brachial plexopathy. The EMG presentation of isolated cervical radiculopathy, however, has not been previously reported, despite the tumor's known tendency for local invasion which may include the nerve roots and even the spinal canal in its advanced stages. This patient's normal sensory studies argue against any significant coexisting lower brachial plexopathy. The possibility of Pancoast lesion should be considered not only in the presence of brachial plexopathy, but also when C8 or T1 radiculopathy is found.

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