Send to

Choose Destination
Muscle Nerve. 2001 Jul;24(7):883-92.

Clinical evaluation of excitability measures in sensory nerve.

Author information

Sobell Department of Neurophysiology, Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, England.


A recently described method for recording multiple excitability parameters of human motor nerves has been adapted to the study of sensory nerves. The protocol measures stimulus-response behavior using two stimulus durations (from which the distribution of strength-duration time constants is estimated), threshold electrotonus to 100 ms polarizing currents, a current-threshold relationship (indicating inward and outward rectification), and the recovery of excitability following supramaximal activation. The method was tested on 50 healthy volunteers, stimulating the median nerve at the wrist and recording the antidromic compound sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) from digit 2. The excitability measurements were similar, where comparisons were possible, with published sensory nerve data, and confirmed differences from motor nerves, particularly in strength-duration behavior and recovery cycle, likely to reflect functional differences between sensory and motor nerves. Although slower than for motor nerves, the sensory nerve recordings were sufficiently quick (16 to 18 min) to allow them to be included in routine clinical studies. We propose that this method, which provides quite different and complementary information about nerve function to conventional conduction studies, provides a useful new approach for exploring the pathophysiology of sensory neuropathies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center