High-resolution ultrasound visualization of the subcutaneous nerves of the forearm: a feasibility study in anatomic specimens

Muscle Nerve. 2014 May;49(5):676-9. doi: 10.1002/mus.24064.


Introduction: The aim of this ultrasound-anatomical study was to evaluate the ability of high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) to visualize and infiltrate small subcutaneous nerves of the forearm in anatomic specimens.

Methods: Seven nonembalmed human bodies (4 men, 3 women; mean age at death, 60 years) were included in the study. Two investigators scanned the anatomic specimens using 15-MHz and 18-MHz HRUS transducers. The lateral, medial, and posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerves were scanned and interventionally marked with ink using HRUS-guidance. Subsequently, dissections were performed to assess the anatomical correlation of HRUS findings.

Results: All 3 nerves were identified consistently using HRUS. The precision of the ink-markings was excellent, with good correlation with the small peripheral branches of all 3 nerves.

Conclusions: HRUS can identify precisely the small subcutaneous nerves of the forearm and may aid in both diagnosis and therapy in cases of neuropathy.

Keywords: cutaneous nerves; high-resolution ultrasound; interventional ultrasound; nerve ultrasound; neuropathy; ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Forearm / diagnostic imaging
  • Forearm / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nerves / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods