Methylprednisolone may improve lumbosacral radiculoplexus neuropathy

P. J.B. Dyck, J. E. Norell, P. J. Dyck

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35 Scopus citations


Objective: To report on an open trial of intravenous methylprednisolone (IV MP) in nondiabetic lumbosacral radiculoplexus neuropathy (LSRPN). Background: Lumbosacral radiculoplexus neuropathy is a subacute, unilateral or asymmetric syndrome of pain, weakness, and paresthesia of the lower extremity, which is attributed to ischemic injury from microvasculitis in lumbosacral roots, plexus, and nerves. Methods: Eleven nondiabetic patients with worsening LSRPN were treated - ten with infusions of IV MP (1 gm/wk) for 8 to 16 weeks and one with an equivalent dosage of oral prednisone. The main endpoints evaluated were: 1) the Neuropathy Impairment Score (NIS), and 2) the Neuropathy Symptoms and Change (NSC) scores. Results: The median age of our patients was 67 years, range 49 to 86 years. Seven patients were women. All 11 patients reported improvement during treatment - nine reported marked improvement. The median NIS improved from 42 points (range 9 to 106 points) before treatment, to 20 points (range 5 to 57 points) (p = 0.005) after treatment. Pain was completely resolved in four patients and much improved in seven. The change subscore and the severity subscore of the NSC were statistically significantly improved after treatment. Prior to treatment, all patients had significant weakness with six confined to wheelchairs and four using mechanical devices to aid in ambulation. After treatment, the weakness was markedly improved in nine patients; only one still required a wheelchair and six walked independently (p = 0.03). Conclusions: 1) In LSRPN, pain and neurological deficits improved (often dramatically) with IV MP treatment. 2) Although our results should be interpreted with caution since this trial is uncontrolled, IV MP may favorably affect the natural history of LSRPN. 3) The results are sufficiently promising to provide a rationale for prospective, sham controlled, double blind trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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