Objective: The aims of this study were to analyze normative data of nerve conduction studies (NCS) by optimal transformations, and compare the utility of electrodiagnostic tests in detecting mild carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods: In 131 hands of patients with mild CTS and 136 hands of controls, the segmental study of the median nerve between the digit-palm and palm-wrist segments, and the median-to-ulnar and median-to-radial comparative tests were performed. Normal limits were derived by calculating the mean±2 standard deviations of the optimally transformed data of the controls. The specificity, sensitivity, and misclassification rate were calculated to evaluate the utility of each test. Results: All tests had high specificities, ranging from 98.5 to 100%. The distoproximal latency ratio (DPLR) of the median nerve showed the highest sensitivity and the difference between the median and radial sensory latencies (D1M-D1R) the second highest, but there was no statistical difference between them. The difference between the median and ulnar mixed nerve latencies in the palm-to-wrist segment (PM-PU) showed the lowest sensitivity. Misclassification rates of the DPLR, D1M-D1R, and PM-PU were 6.9, 3.8, and 6.1%, respectively. Conclusions: Optimal transformation of NCS data is mandatory to diminish the effect of skewness and enhance the diagnostic accuracy. As compared to the comparative tests, the segmental study of the median nerve is more easily applied and yields higher sensitivity in detecting mild CTS. Significance: With a high diagnostic yield and easy application, the segmental study of the median nerve may routinely be used to evaluate patients with mild CTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1255
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Comparative test
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Median nerve
  • Segmental study
  • Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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