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, 44 (4), 195-9

Age and the Severity of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • PMID: 15224813

Age and the Severity of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

E B Bodofsky et al. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol.


Several studies have shown an increased incidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) with increasing age, as well as a longer Median sensory latency in older CTS patients. In this study, data was analyzed from 19 patients with bilaterally normal UE EMG/NCS and no symptoms of CTS (38 hands), as well as 18 patients with unilateral CTS and 21 with bilateral CTS (60 hands) to determine the effect of age on the severity of nerve conduction abnormalities associated with CTS. Most of these parameters showed increasing severity with age. Median motor latency rises sharply with age (r = .41, p = .001), and amplitude falls (r = .34, p = .008). Median sensory rises significantly with age in CTS patients (r = .42, p = .001) and amplitude falls (r = .29, p = .022). Furthermore, the (Median-Ulnar) motor and sensory latency differences both rise with age (r = .40, p = .001, and r = .35, p = .004 respectively). This is crucial, for an increase in Median motor or sensory latency with age could represent a similar degree of pathologic slowing superimposed on normally slower conduction with age. However, the sharp rise in the (Median-Ulnar) latency differences (from 2.2 msecs at age 40 to 3.8 msecs at age 70 for motor, and 1.6 msecs to 2.5 msecs for sensory) shows that the compression is more severe with age.

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