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Am Fam Physician. 2002 May 15;65(10):1998.

Question 8 in “Clinical Quiz” (November 1, 2000, page 1958), pertaining to the article “Acute Brachial Plexus Neuritis: An Uncommon Cause of Shoulder Pain,” was unclear. The best answer for Question 8 is A; osteophytes are present on radiographic studies. Because it is possible to have a radiculopathy involving multiple root levels, B is a possible correct answer, but it would not be the best response because the situation is extremely unusual. The question is printed below; the correct answer is A.

Q8. Which one of the following conditions makes it difficult to distinguish acute brachial plexus neuritis from cervical radiculopathy?

  • A. Osteophytes are present on radiographic studies.

  • B. The radiculopathy involves multiple neurologic levels.

  • C. There is a long delay between the patient's pain and neurologic deficits.

  • D. Sensory loss occurs in a single dermatome.

  • E. There is a history of antecedent trauma.

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