Neurophysiologic studies in peripheral arterial disease

J Clin Neurophysiol. 1998 Sep;15(5):447-50. doi: 10.1097/00004691-199809000-00009.


The purpose of the study was to compare the electrophysiological parameters (nerve conduction studies and quantitative electromyography [EMG]) between patients with chronic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and normal control subjects. Forty patients with PAD and 30 control subjects (40 legs) were evaluated clinically and electrophysiologically using previously described methods. The amplitude of compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) and the motor conduction velocities (MCVs) of peroneal and tibial nerve for most patients with PAD were within normal limits but compared with those of the controls, it was found that the peroneal and tibial MCVs as well as the amplitude of sural nerve were significantly decreased. The EMG testing of patients with PAD and controls of the anterior tibialis and the gastrocnemius muscle did not show evidence of denervation or myopathic abnormalities. However, the mean amplitude and duration of both muscles were significantly larger compared with the controls. Routine electrophysiological studies are not the appropriate (sensitive enough) tests for detecting peripheral nerve or muscle dysfunction associated with PAD.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electromyography
  • Electrophysiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / innervation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Regression Analysis