Objective: To evaluate each digital branch of the median sensory nerve and motor nerves to abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and 2nd lumbrical (2L) according to the severity of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods: A prospective study was performed in 67 hands of 41 patients with CTS consisting of mild, 23; moderate, 27; and severe cases, 17. Compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were obtained from APB and 2L, and median sensory nerve action potentials (SNAPs) were recorded from the thumb to the 4th digit. Parameters analyzed were latency of the median CMAP, latency difference of 2L and first palmar interosseous (PI), as well as latency and baseline to peak amplitude of the median SNAPs.Results The onset and peak latencies of the median SNAPs revealed significant differences only in the 2nd digit, according to the severity of CTS, and abnormal rates of the latencies were significantly lower in the 2nd digit to a mild degree. The amplitude of SNAP and sensory nerve conduction velocities were more preserved in the 2nd digit in mild CTS and more affected in the 4th digit in severe CTS. CMAPs were not evoked with APB recording in 4 patients with severe CTS, but obtained in all patients with 2L recording. 2L-PI showed statistical significance according to the severity of CTS.Conclusion The branch to the 4th digit was mostly involved and the branch to the 2nd digit and 2L were less affected in the progress of CTS. The second digit recorded SNAPs and 2L recorded CMAPs would be valuable in the evaluation of severe CTS.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Digital branch of median nerve
- Median nerve
- Nerve conduction study
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