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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 145  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 353-357

F wave index: A diagnostic tool for peripheral neuropathy


1 Department of Physiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Neurology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1087_14

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Background & objectives: Each skeletal muscle is usually supplied by two or more nerve roots and if one nerve root is affected and the other is spared, the clinically used F wave minimum latency can still be normal. An F wave index was constructed taking into consideration the other parameters of the F wave such as persistence, chronodispersion, latency, arm-length to determine its usefulness in the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. This study was undertaken to construct the F wave index in the upper limb for the median nerve in normal healthy adult males and in patients with peripheral neuropathy and to compare the values obtained in both groups. Methods: This hospital-based study was carried out on 40 males who were diagnosed to have peripheral neuropathy and on 40 age matched healthy males who served as the control group. The F wave recording was done using a digitalized nerve conduction/electromyography/EP machine in a quiet and dimly lit room. All recordings were done between 0900 and 1100 h at an ambient temperature of 22°C. The F wave recording was obtained from a fully relaxed muscle by stimulating the median nerve. Results: The median value for F wave index obtained from median nerve (abductor pollicis brevis) in patients with peripheral neuropathy [right arm - 35.85, interquartile range (IQR) - 35.26; left arm - 39.49, IQR - 39.49] was significantly lower (P=0.001) as compared to the control group (right arm - 102.62, IQR - 83.76; left arm - 77.43, IQR - 58.02). Interpretation & conclusions: Our results showed that F wave index in upper limb was significantly lower in patients with peripheral neuropathy than the healthy controls, and could be used for early detection of peripheral neuropathy.


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