JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Increased nerve vascularization detected by color Doppler sonography in patients with ulnar neuropathy at the elbow indicates axonal damage.

Muscle & Nerve 2013 Februrary
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of increased intraneural vascularization detected by ultrasonography (IVUS) in patients with ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE) and to determine its relationship to clinical, ultrasonographic, and electrodiagnostic findings.

METHODS: High-resolution ultrasonography and color Doppler imaging were performed in 137 patients with confirmed UNE, 24 patient controls, and 70 healthy controls (HCs).

RESULTS: IVUS was found in 21 (15%) of 137 patients with UNE, in 1 (4%) of 24 patient controls, and in 0 of 70 HCs (P = 0.001). Patients with IVUS were more likely to have severe weakness (P = 0.01), severe atrophy of ulnar-innervated muscles (P = 0.008), axonal damage (P = 0.001), and more pronounced nerve enlargement (P = 0.03) than those without IVUS.

CONCLUSIONS: IVUS in the ulnar nerve can be detected in patients with UNE and is associated with nerve enlargement and clinical and electrodiagnostic severity. In addition, IVUS is associated with axonal damage.

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