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Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2004 Feb;14(1):93-102, viii.

Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome: electrodiagnostic and MR imaging evaluation.

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Merck and Co., Inc., 95 Spring Street, New Providence, NJ 07974, USA.


In clinically classic carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) without symptoms or signs to suggest other disorders that can mimic CTS, it remains somewhat controversial as to whether performing nerve conduction studies is necessary or cost-effective. MR imaging reliably depicts normal carpal tunnel anatomy. It can also identify pathologic nerve compression and mass lesions, such as ganglion cysts, that compress nerves. Currently, MR imaging is most commonly used to image patients with ambiguous electrodiagnostic studies and clinical examinations. MR diffusion-weighted imaging of peripheral nerves might prove to be the most sensitive imaging sequence for the detection of early nerve dysfunction. Electrodiagnostic studies are likely to remain the pivotal diagnostic examination in patients with suspected CTS for the foreseeable future. With advances in both software and hardware, however, high-resolution MR imaging of peripheral nerves will become faster, cheaper, and likely more accurate, possibly paving the way for an expanded role in the diagnosis of this common syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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