Evanoff V Jr, Buschbacher RM. Optimal interelectrode distance in sensory and mixed compound nerve action potentials: 3- versus 4-centimeter bar electrodes. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:405–8.
To evaluate the amplitude and latency for 3-cm versus 4-cm distance between the active and reference electrodes (electrode separation) used to obtain normative sensory and mixed compound nerve action potential data.
Prospective, unblinded clinical test evaluating 3 nerves: mixed median and ulnar across wrist (8cm), and radial antidromic sensory (10cm).
University and private practice electrodiagnostic laboratories.
One hundred six adult volunteers without known neuropathy.
Main outcome measures
Peak-to-peak amplitude and onset and peak latencies.
Mean onset latencies ± standard deviation (SD) were equal for 3-cm and 4-cm separations (median, 1.6±0.2ms; radial, 1.7±0.2ms; ulnar, 1.5±0.2ms). Mean peak latencies were also equal for 3-cm and 4-cm separation for radial (2.2±0.2ms) and ulnar (1.9±0.2ms) studies but differed for the median study (3cm, 2.0±0.3ms; 4cm, 2.1±0.3ms; P<.0001). Mean amplitudes ± SD with 3-cm and 4-cm separations were, respectively, 101±39μV and 103±39μV (P=.0434) for the median, 47±17μV and 48±16μV (P=.0209) for the radial, and 52±28μV and 55±29μV (P=.0001) for the ulnar study. These differences were statistically significant but clinically insignificant.
The results support a hypothesized difference in amplitude but not latency between 3- and 4-cm separation. Clinically, however, the magnitude was insignificant.
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© 2003 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.