Magnetic cervical nerve root stimulation was performed in 9 patients with plexopathies secondary to suspension (SP) and in 12 cases with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS). The findings were compared with those of the previously reported case groups: n-hexane polyneuropathy (HPNP), inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (IDP), and motor neuron disease (MND). Muscle responses elicited by magnetic stimulation had very high rates of amplitude and area loss in the neck-axilla segments of the 6 SP patients. This, along with the other electrophysiological findings, suggested the presence of segmentally demyelinating plexus lesions. In NTOS patients, magnetic stimulation findings were not significantly different from those of the controls. Neck-axilla segment amplitude and area reduction rates in SP and IDP patients were significantly higher than those found in NTOS, HPNP, and MND groups, implying that magnetic nerve root stimulation may have a role in the demonstration of segmentally demyelinating lesions involving proximal nerve segments. (C) 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.