European radiology

Sonographic cross-sectional area measurement in carpal tunnel syndrome patients: can delta and ratio calculations predict severity compared to nerve conduction studies?

PMID 25860156


To evaluate the accuracy of two different sonographic median nerve measurement calculations in predicting carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) severity in a study population with clinically and electrophysiologically confirmed CTS. 643 wrists of 427 patients (325 females and 102 males, age range: 17-90xa0years, mean ± SD: 57.9 ± 14.7) were included with CTS diagnosis based on clinical and nerve conduction studies (NCS). Cross-sectional area (CSA) measurement of the median nerve was performed at the carpal tunnel level (CSAc) and at the pronator quadratus muscle level (CSAp). Two parameters were calculated: delta (∆-CSA), which is the difference between proximal and distal measurements, and ratio (R-CSA), calculated by dividing distal over proximal measurements. Patients were classified into mild, moderate and severe CTS based upon NCS. The mean ∆-CSA (4.2 ± 2.6, 6.95 ± 2.2 and 10.7 ± 4.9xa0mm(2)) and mean R-CSA (1.5 ± 0.4, 1.95 ± 0.4 and 2.4 ± 0.7) values were significantly different between all groups (p < 0.001). Optimal cut-off values for ∆-CSA and R-CSA were 6xa0mm(2) and 1.7, respectively, to distinguish mild from moderate disease, and 9xa0mm(2) and 2.2, respectively, to distinguish moderate from severe disease. Threshold values for the calculated sonographic parameters ∆-CSA and R-CSA are useful in predicting CTS severity compared to NCS. • Two proposed parameters were calculated (∆-CSA, R-CSA) and compared to NCS. • A defined sonoanatomical proximal landmark was used for the calculation. • Both parameters showed ability to detect CTS severity comparable to NCS. • Cut-off values could be determined for both parameters.