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A method of ultrasound diagnosis for unilateral peripheral entrapment neuropathy based on multilevel side-to-side image contrast

1 Department of Hand Surgery, Department of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Ningbo No. 6 Hospital, Ningbo, 315040, China
2 School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, and UniSA Cancer Research Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia

Individual variations have been reported in the existing methods for examining peripheral entrapment neuropathy, by which limited sites can be examined. In this study, the patients with unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS) and radial nerve compression (RNC) were selected as research subjects and an ultrasound technique was proposed based on multilevel side-to-side image contrast for the diagnosis of unilateral peripheral entrapment neuropathy. According to the statistical analysis of 62 patients with CTS, CuTS or RNC, the diagnostic thresholds of the cross-sectional area swelling ratio (CSASR) for diagnosis of CTS, CuTS or RNC were 1.22, 1.51 and 1.50, respectively. The surgical therapeutic thresholds of CSASR for the treatment of CTS, CuTS and RNC were 1.48, 1.67 and 3.04, respectively. When the maximal CSASR of the diseased nerve was greater than or equal to the diagnostic threshold, the nerve compression could be diagnosed. If it was less than the diagnostic threshold, nerve compression was excluded. Conservative treatment was indicated when the maximal CSASR of the diseased nerve was less than the therapeutic threshold. When the maximal CSASR was greater than or equal to the therapeutic threshold, surgical treatment was indicated, and the nerve release procedure was selected. The novel multilevel side-to-side image contrast ultrasound technique proposed in this study can substantially reduce the impact of individual variation and explore the full course of the diseased nerve. It is a novel approach for diagnosis, treatment selection, and determination of treatment sites of unilateral peripheral entrapment neuropathy.
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