American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 10, 2015

Don’t do a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the spine or brain for patients with only peripheral neuropathy (without signs or symptoms suggesting a brain or spine disorder).

Because the vast majority of people with peripheral neuropathy (also called polyneuropathy) have the longest nerves of the body primarily affected (mostly in the toes and feet but sometimes also in the hands), there is essentially no justification for MRI imaging of the brain or spine in these cases.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Professional Practice Committee (PPC) of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) developed this list of recommendations. The PPC includes both neurologists and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) physicians who come from varying practice settings and also includes the AANEM’s representatives to the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology Panel and Relative Value Update Committee. The PPC members identified areas to be included on this list based on the greatest potential for overuse/misuse, quality improvement and availability of strong evidence-based research/support in the literature. The committee’s recommendations were discussed at an AANEM Board meeting that included chairs from AANEM committees. The PPC reviewed the feedback from this group and voted on the final Top Five recommendations. These were then approved by the AANEM Board of Directors.

AANEM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.aanem.org.

Sources

England, JD Gronseth GS, Franklin G, Carter GT, Kinsella LJ, Cohen JA, Asbury AK, Szigeti K, Lupski JR, Latov N, Lewis RA, Low PA, Fisher MA, Herrmann DN, Howard JF Jr, Lauria G, Miller RG, Polydefkis M, Sumner AJ; American Academy of Neurology. Practice Parameter: evaluation of distal symmetric polyneuropathy: role of laboratory and genetic testing (an evidence-based review). Report of the American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Neurology. 2009 Jan 13;72(2):185-92.