Phrenic nerve conduction study in normal subjects

Muscle Nerve. 1995 Mar;18(3):330-5. doi: 10.1002/mus.880180311.


Phrenic nerve conduction studies were performed in 50 phrenic nerves from 25 normal subjects using a technique modified from previously described methods. The normal ranges for latency, amplitude, negative peak area, and duration were established. The latency correlates with age and the amplitude increases with chest circumference. With our method, the amplitude increases and the duration decreases with lung volume. We found good right-left agreement and reproducibility. Therefore, the unaffected side can be used as a reference in unilateral phrenic nerve lesions and previous studies can be used for comparison in serial studies. We recommend that phrenic nerve conduction studies be used routinely to diagnose and monitor patients with respiratory involvement from neuromuscular diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diaphragm / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction*
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiration / physiology