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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 104-105

Ulnar motor conduction studies with FDI CMAP recording for the electrodiagnosis of ulnar neuropathy at elbow


Department of Neurology, Neurophysiology Unit, Ospedale Santa Chiara, Largo Medaglie d' Oro 1, 38100 Trento, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Alberto Morini
Department of Neurology, Neurophysiology Unit, Ospedale Santa Chiara, Largo Medaglie d' Oro 1, 38100 Trento
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.32768

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How to cite this article:
Morini A. Ulnar motor conduction studies with FDI CMAP recording for the electrodiagnosis of ulnar neuropathy at elbow. Neurol India 2007;55:104-5

How to cite this URL:
Morini A. Ulnar motor conduction studies with FDI CMAP recording for the electrodiagnosis of ulnar neuropathy at elbow. Neurol India [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Dec 13];55:104-5. Available from: http://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2007/55/2/104/32768


Measurement of ulnar nerve (UN) motor conduction velocity (MCV) across the elbow (AE) is a mainstay in EDX evaluation of suspected UNE, especially in milder cases.[1] It is still debated whether its assessment recording from FDI muscle is more sensitive than from ADM.[2] Indeed, the AAEM recommendations state that this procedure may be of benefit if ADM recordings are inconclusive.[3] The reliability of UN MCV in the AE segment is notoriously affected by several methodological variables, as also demonstrated by studies on changes due to experimental error.[4] Some variables apply to both FDI and ADM recordings, such as joint position, segment length measurement, elbow skin temperature[5] and jitter of subsequent motor responses. The FDI CMAP recordings have some peculiarities. First, this muscle is very often supplied by fibers from a Martin-Gruber anastomosis; in this case, not exactly the same axons are stimulated at the wrist and in around-the-elbow region; this may slightly affect MCV measurement in the wrist-elbow segment to be compared to AE. Second, a probably under-recognized point is the morphology of the FDI CMAP itself. In fact, if the reference electrode is placed on the dorsum of Digit 1 the CMAP has a sharp negative takeoff similar to the ADM CMAP; by contrast, if the reference electrode is placed on the dorsum of Digit 2, as performed in most labs, the main negative component is preceded by a small, less sharp but evident positive wave. In my experience this initial positive deflection tends to be smoothed much more than the subsequent negative one with stimulations at further more proximal sites. This may raise additional accuracy problems in positioning latency markers, especially if waveforms are inspected and markers set with a low sensitivity gain.

In this paper the authors[6] report their findings in normal subjects with simultaneous ADM and FDI recordings. Mean AE MVCs resulted slower of about 2 m/sec when recording from FDI than from ADM. Although statistically significant, such small mean segmental velocity differences are unlikely to be helpful in a practical clinical setting. More interestingly, they also report a much wider range of differences in the considered parameters for individual nerves. Thus, they are the first to emphasize that these two subgroups of motor fibers may have different maximal MCVs even in healthy subjects and this should be considered to avoid false-positive results with FDI recordings. Further studies are needed to compare ADM and FDI recordings in UNE cases of different severity and in the follow-up of surgically verified cases. Techniques exploring MCV of not only the fastest conducting fibers might also give interesting contributions to this issue.

 
  References Top

1.Padua L, Aprile I, Mazza O, Padua R, Pietracci E, Caliandro P, et al . Neurophysiological classification of ulnar entrapment across the elbow. Neurol Sci 2001;22:11-6.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
2.Shakir A, Mickelsen PJ, Robinson LR. Which motor conduction study is best in ulnar neuropathy at elbow? Muscle Nerve 2004;29:585-90.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Practice parameter for electrodiagnostic studies in ulnar neuropathy at the elbow: Summary statement. American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Muscle Nerve 1999;22:408-11.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
4.Landau M, Diaz MI, Barner KC, Campbell WW. Changes in nerve conduction velocity across the elbow due to experimental error. Muscle Nerve 2002;26:838-40.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Landau M, Barner KC, Murray ED, Campbell WW. Cold Elbow syndrome: Spurious slowing of ulnar nerve conduction velocity. Muscle Nerve 2005;32:815-7.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Azma K, Bahmanteimoury K, Tavana B, Moghaddam FR, Moghaddam NM, Mahmoudi H. Two measurement methods of motor ulnar nerve conduction velocity at the elbow: A comparative study. Neurol India 2007;55:145-7.  Back to cited text no. 6    



This article has been cited by
1 Ulnar Neuropathy With Normal Electrodiagnosis and Abnormal Nerve Ultrasound
Joon Shik Yoon,Francis O. Walker,Michael S. Cartwright
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2010; 91(2): 318
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

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