Correlation of age and the diameter of the cervical nerve roots C5 and C6 during the first 2 years of life analyzed by high-resolution ultrasound imaging

Brain Behav. 2022 Aug;12(8):e2649. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2649. Epub 2022 Jul 10.


Aim: To analyze the increase in diameter of the nerve roots C5 and C6 in early childhood.

Methods: The nerve roots of 56 children aged 0 days to 10 years (47 younger than 2 years) were examined by high-resolution ultrasound imaging. The correlation of diameter and age was statistically tested and a logarithmic regression analysis was performed to develop a logarithmic growth model.

Results: The increase in nerve root diameter is greatest during the first 2 years of life and then the growth rate decreases steadily. The relationship between age and diameter follows a logarithmic curve (p < 10-8 ).

Interpretation: The main increase in the diameter of the nerve roots happens in the first 2 years of life. Comparing data from a previous study, our data also suggest that the maturation of the proximal part of the median nerve is comparable to the maturation of its distal segments. This suggests a synchronous maturation of the axons and myelin sheath for the whole extent of the nerve, from the radix to its very distal part.

What this paper adds: Normative values for the size of the cervical nerve roots C5 and C6; an insight into the maturation of the proximal parts of the peripheral nervous system; and the correlation between age and cervical root diameter.

Keywords: high-resolution ultrasound imaging; maturation of the peripheral nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae* / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Peripheral Nerves
  • Spinal Nerve Roots* / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Nerve Roots* / physiology
  • Ultrasonography