Axonal degeneration of the ulnar nerve secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome: fact or fiction?

Citation:
Axonal degeneration of the ulnar nerve secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome: fact or fiction?, Azmy, Radwa Mahmoud, Labib Amira Ahmed, and Elkholy Saly Hassan , Neural regeneration research, 2013 May 25, Volume 8, Issue 15, p.1418-22, (2013)

Abstract:

The distribution of sensory symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome is strongly dependent on the degree of electrophysiological dysfunction of the median nerve. The association between carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment is still unclear. In this study, we measured ulnar nerve function in 82 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The patients were divided into group I with minimal carpal tunnel syndrome (n = 35) and group II with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome (n = 47) according to electrophysiological data. Sixty-one age- and sex-matched subjects without carpal tunnel syndrome were used as a control group. There were no significant differences in ulnar sensory nerve peak latencies or conduction velocities from the 4(th) and 5(th) fingers between patients with carpal tunnel syndrome and the control group. The ulnar sensory nerve action potential amplitudes from the 4(th) and 5(th) fingers were lower in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome than in the control group. The ratios of the ulnar sensory nerve action potential amplitudes from the 4(th) and 5(th) fingers were almost the same in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome as in the control group. These findings indicate that in patients with minimal to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, there is some electrophysiological evidence of traction on the adjacent ulnar nerve fibers. The findings do not indicate axonal degeneration of the ulnar nerve.

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