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Sensitivity of high-resolution ultrasonography in clinically diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome patients with hand pain and normal nerve conduction studies.

Sensitivity of high-resolution ultrasonography in clinically diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome patients with hand pain and normal nerve conduction studies.

J Pain Res. 2018;11:1319-1325

Authors: Roghani RS, Holisaz MT, Norouzi AAS, Delbari A, Gohari F, Lokk J, Boon AJ

Abstract
Background: Suspecting carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in patients with hand pain is usual. Considering the variable rate of false-negative results in nerve conduction study (NCS), as a frequent reference confirmatory standard test, we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of neuromuscular ultrasound in patients with clinical evidence of CTS and normal NCS.
Methods: It was a diagnostic accuracy study conducted in the outpatient clinic of Rofaydeh Hospital, Tehran, Iran, between July 2012 and December 2016; it recruited clinically diagnosed CTS patients and a control group. All participants underwent comprehensive clinical examination, NCS, and high-resolution ultrasonography of the median nerve.
Results: Two hundred and fifty patients with clinical evidence of CTS met the inclusion criteria, of whom 103 (27.1%) had normal NCS and underwent an ultrasound examination. A cutoff point of 9.4 mm2 (mean + 2 standard deviation) for median nerve cross-sectional area at the carpal tunnel inlet from the control group was set to detect 73% abnormality in the case group.
Conclusion: Ultrasonography had a sensitivity rate of 73% in patients with clinical CTS and negative NCS, increasing the overall diagnostic sensitivity for clinically suspected CTS in the electrodiagnostic lab setting to 92%. The study highlights the complementary role of ultraso-nography in diagnosing CTS in conjunction with NCS.

PMID: 30022850 [PubMed]

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