What is the role of MRI in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the carpal tunnel is particularly useful preoperatively if a space-occupying lesion in the carpal tunnel is suggested. Signal abnormality can be detected in the median nerve in some cases of CTS, but how these abnormalities correlate to diagnosis and physiologic severity is not clear. MRI does not rule out the multitude of other differential diagnoses and is time consuming and resource intensive. [31]

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