Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hand Ther. 1995 Apr-Jun;8(2):155-62.

Threshold detection and Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments.

Author information

  • 1Rehabilitation Research Department, Gillis W. Long Hansen's Disease Center, Carville, Louisiana 70721-9607, USA.


Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments provide a repeatable instrument stimulus with a small standard deviation in contrast to other handheld test instruments, making them an optimum choice for objective sensory testing in a variety of clinics. Normal sensory detection thresholds for the entire body, and the stimulus force for each filament, were determined by Weinstein. He found a nylon filament of 0.005 in wide and 38 mm long (mean force, 68 mg) to be a good predictor of "normal" light touch-deep pressure threshold for the hands and most of the body. However, manufacturers of the nylon used in making the filaments allow an 8-10% tolerance in diameter. This small change in diameter can result in small variations in mean force among filaments of a given size. It has not been previously determined what effect this small variance in force has on the accuracy of the 2.83 (marking number) 0.005-in wide filament most often used for normal threshold detection. This study compared the 2.83 filaments available at the Gillis W. Long Hansen's Disease Center, which have a mean force of 62 mg, with those from North Coast Medical, Inc., which have a mean force of 95 mg. The filaments were used by 6 examiners in a standard testing protocol for the hands, arms, faces, legs, and feet of 130 subjects. Heavier and lighter filaments of measured force were also included. Results showed a high correlation in responses for two values for the 2.83 filaments in the range specified. On detailed analysis between kits there were some differences for site and age.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk