What causes brachial neuritis (BN)?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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A rarer, hereditary form of BN has been localized to the SEPT9 gene on chromosome arm 17q and should be considered a distinct disorder. This entity presents in a younger age group, affects males and females equally (autosomal-dominant inheritance), and is characterized by recurrent, often bilateral attacks. Dysmorphic facial features (eg, hypotelorism, long nasal bridge, facial asymmetry) can also be present.

A study from England and the Netherlands found that in samples of British and Dutch patients with brachial neuritis, about 10% had hepatitis E. In the combined retrospective (British)/prospective (Dutch) study, van Eijk et al found hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in five out of 47 patients. Clinical and electrophysiologic examination indicated that the brachial neuritis was bilateral in all of the patients with hepatitis E. [34, 35]

A study by Ripellino et al found that of 141 cases of acute HEV infection in southern Switzerland, 43 patients (30.5%) had neurologic symptoms, with 28 patients (19.9%) having myalgia, and 15 patients (10.6%) having brachial neuritis. [36]

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