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Open Access Short Report

Possible detection of cervical spondylotic neuropathy using Distribution of F-latency (DFL), a new neurophysiological parameter

Mohammad J Alam and Khondkar S Rabbani*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biomedical Physics & Technology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:112  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-112

Published: 23 April 2010

Abstract

Background

We have previously reported a new nerve conduction measurement parameter which we named the Distribution of F-latency (DFL) and showed that this was an approximate mirror of the Distribution of Conduction Velocity (DCV) of motor nerve fibers. This work was performed using measurements on the 20 median nerves from 10 volunteers. The DFL showed a number of different patterns including single peaks, broad peaks and double peaks, the latter observed on subjects with Cervical Spondylosis (CS). It was thought that a retrospective analysis of these data could be worthwhile in determining whether Cervical Spondylotic neuropathy could be detected using the DFL.

Findings

The DFL from the 8 median nerves of 4 normal subjects had single peaks, which has been assumed to represent a normal pattern. The DFL from one side of 5 subjects diagnosed with or suspected to have CS had double peaks. Broad peaks were observed in 7 nerves of which 5 were from subjects who had double peaks in the DFL on the contra lateral side.

Conclusions

Based on these findings, double peaks in the DFL appear to be associated with CS neuropathy. These findings further suggest that broad peaks in the DFL could indicate the early stages of the disease. Differential compression of nerve branches at the spinal roots are being explored as possible causes. This study does not preclude other pathologies contributing to double or broad peaks, but does suggest that the DFL could form a screening tool for CS neuropathy.