The Role of median nerve terminal latency index in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome in comparison with other electrodiagnostic parameters


Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) considers the most common compression neuropathy, which nerve conduction studies (NCSs) used for its detection routinely and universally. This study was performed to determine the value of the median TLI and other NCS variables and to investigate their sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of CTS.
Materials and Methods: The study was carried out among 100 hands of healthy volunteers and 50 hands of patients who had a positive history of paresthesia and numbness in upper extremities.Information including age, gender, and result of sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV), peak latency difference of median and ulnar nerves of fourth digit (M4-U4 peak latency difference), and TLI were recorded for analysis. Sensitivity and specificity of electro diagnostic parameters in the diagnosis of CTS was investigated.

Results: Normal range of the median nerve TLI was 0.43 ± 0.077. There was no significant difference between two groups for MNCV means (P = 0. 45). Distal sensory latency and distal motor latency (DML) of median nerve and fourth digit median-ulnar peak latency differences (PM4-PU4) for CTS group was significantly higher (P < 0.001) and mean for sensory nerve conduction velocity was significantly higher in control group (P < 0.001). The most sensitive electrophysiological finding in CTS patients was median TLI (82%), but the most specific one was DML (98%).
Conclusion: Although in early stages of CTS, we usually expect only abnormalities in the sensory studies, but TLI may better demonstrate the effect on median nerve motor fiber even in mild cases of CTS.


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