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Open Access Research article

Conduction in ulnar nerve bundles that innervate the proximal and distal muscles: a clinical trial

Attila Oğuzhanoğlu1*, Sibel Güler2, Mustafa Çam3 and Eylem Değirmenci1

Author Affiliations

1 Pamukkale University, School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Araştırma Hastanesi, Kınıklı-Denizli, Turkey

2 Devlet Hastanesi, Siirt, Turkey

3 Asker Hastanesi, Eskişehir, Turkey

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BMC Neurology 2010, 10:81  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-81

Published: 13 September 2010

Abstract

Background

This study aims to investigate and compare the conduction parameters of nerve bundles in the ulnar nerve that innervates the forearm muscles and hand muscles; routine electromyography study merely evaluates the nerve segment of distal (hand) muscles.

Methods

An electrophysiological evaluation, consisting of velocities, amplitudes, and durations of ulnar nerve bundles to 2 forearm muscles and the hypothenar muscles was performed on the same humeral segment.

Results

The velocities and durations of the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) of the ulnar nerve bundle to the proximal muscles were greater than to distal muscles, but the amplitudes were smaller.

Conclusions

Bundles in the ulnar nerve of proximal muscles have larger neuronal bodies and thicker nerve fibers than those in the same nerve in distal muscles, and their conduction velocities are higher. The CMAPs of proximal muscles also have smaller amplitudes and greater durations. These findings can be attributed to the desynchronization that is caused by a wider range of distribution in nerve fiber diameters.

Conduction parameters of nerve fibers with different diameters in the same peripheral nerve can be estimated.