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Race effect on nerve conduction studies: a comparison between 50 blacks and 50 whites

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      Abstract

      Objective: To determine whether there are any differences in nerve conduction study results between blacks and whites.
      Design: The following studies were performed: median, ulnar, peroneal, and tibial motor studies; median and ulnar mixed motor/sensory studies; sural and radial sensory studies; and H-reflex studies.
      Setting: Private office or university-based clinic.
      Participants: Fifty adult blacks and 50 adult whites who met inclusion criteria, recruited through advertisements.
      Main Outcome Measures: Differences between blacks and whites were compared to determine whether they exceeded a cutoff of 0.2msec for latencies, 20% difference for amplitudes, 5m/sec for conduction velocity, and 1.2msec for H-reflex times. A repeated analysis of variance was performed to detect statistically significant differences (defined as p ≤ .01).
      Results: Only values for the mean peroneal and tibial motor latencies exceeded the cutoff times. The mean peroneal response was faster by 0.3msec and the mean tibial response was slower by 0.3msec in blacks than whites. These differences were not statistically significant at a level of p ≤ .01.
      Conclusion: There is no significant difference between blacks and whites in normal nerve conduction study findings in healthy adults.
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