Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Appointments

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Your Mayo Clinic doctor will diagnose your condition based on a detailed physical examination and a discussion with you about your medical history. If signs suggest that you could have a benign peripheral nerve tumor, your doctor may recommend one or more of these diagnostic tests:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This scan uses a magnet and radio waves to produce a detailed, 3-D view of your nerves and surrounding tissue.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). A CT scanner rotates around your body to record a series of images. A computer uses the image to make a detailed view of your peripheral nerve tumor so that your doctor can evaluate how it may be affecting you.
  • Electromyogram (EMG). For this test, your doctor places small needles in your muscles so an electromyography instrument can record the electrical activity in your muscle as you try to move it.
  • Nerve conduction study. You're likely to have this test along with your EMG. It measures how quickly your nerves carry electrical signals to your muscles.
  • Tumor biopsy. If imaging tests identify a nerve tumor, your doctor may remove and analyze a small sample of cells (biopsy) from your tumor. Depending on the tumor's size and location, you may need local or general anesthesia during the biopsy.
  • Nerve biopsy. If you have a condition such as a progressive peripheral neuropathy or enlarged nerves that mimic nerve tumors, your doctor may take a nerve biopsy.
Nov. 26, 2012

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