The two sensory branches of the superficial peroneal nerve: electrophysiological differences and correlations with gender, age, height and BMI

P Kokotis, D Kolovou, A Papagianni, T Zambelis, N Karandreas
Clinical Neurophysiology 2009, 39 (3): 143-7

AIMS OF THE STUDY: To detect amplitude differences between the sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP) obtained by simultaneous recording of the two main branches of the superficial peroneal sensory nerve (SPSN), the medial and intermediate dorsal cutaneous sensory nerves (MDCN, IDCN); to investigate whether these differences, if any, are correlated with gender, age, body mass index (BMI), and height of normal subjects; to discuss their clinical significance.

POPULATION AND METHODS: Seventy-six healthy volunteers (36 males) were included (mean age: 36.5 years, range 20-80). Simultaneous MCND and IDCN recordings were performed via surface electrodes placed at precise positions on the intermalleolus line. Stimulation was performed 14 cm proximally on two different sites over the anterolateral aspect of the right leg.

RESULTS: Responses were obtained for both nerve branches in all subjects. Median value and lower normal limit for the amplitude of the greater among both MDCN and IDCN responses was 10.95 microV and 4.9 microV, respectively. Statistically significant differences were found between the two branches in median amplitude and frequency of the greater value. These differences were not correlated with gender, age, BMI, or height.

CONCLUSION: We propose simultaneous recording of the two main branches of the superficial peroneal sensory nerve, placing the recording electrodes and stimulation device on precise positions and measuring the amplitude of the best of both responses. This method is an improvement of an already existent one, and may be clinically useful in detecting abnormal responses of the SPSN.

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