F-wave latency, the most sensitive nerve conduction parameter in patients with diabetes mellitus

Muscle & Nerve
H AndersenBjörn Falck

Abstract

In this study we examined the diagnostic sensitivity of minimal F-wave latency, F-wave persistence, motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV), and amplitude of the compound motor action potential (CMAP) of the median, ulnar, tibial, and peroneal nerves, and of sensory conduction velocity (SCV) and sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitude of the sural nerve in 82 diabetic patients. For the median, ulnar, and tibial nerves the Z scores of the minimal F-wave latency were significantly larger than those of the MCV, and for all four motor nerves the Z scores of the minimal F-wave latency were significantly larger than those of the amplitude of the CMAP. The Z scores of the peroneal minimal F-wave latency exceeded those of peroneal MCV, sural SCV, and sural SNAP. F-wave persistence did not differ significantly from the reference values. In conclusion, minimal F-wave latency is the most sensitive measure for detection of nerve pathology and should be considered in electrophysiological studies of diabetic patients.

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