Motor nerve conduction study parameters in healthy individuals: effect of limb dominance

Binnam Shakya, Dilip Thakur, Bishnu H. Paudel, Rita Khadka, Suman Pokhrel


Background: Nerve conduction study (NCS) is useful for evaluation of nerve, muscle, and/or neuromuscular function. Neurophysiologist interprets NCS with consideration of various anthropometric and technical parameters viz. age, gender, height, temperature etc. apart from the underlying pathology. Fewer studies have reported the effect of limb dominance on NCS. Moreover, the findings are controversial. Therefore, author aimed to investigate the effect of limb dominance on motor nerve conduction study parameters.

Methods: This cross-sectional comparative study included sixty healthy individuals (44 right and 16 left handed) of either sex with age 18 to 30 years. The NCS parameters of median and ulnar nerves were assessed by stimulating it and recording from the muscle and skin overlying the nerve respectively using Digital Nihon Kohden machine. The obtained data were analyzed using independent sample t-test.

Results: Right ulnar nerve onset latency was significantly longer in left-handed individuals (1.85±0.508 ms vs 1.62±0.195 ms, p=0.012). The left ulnar nerve F wave minimum latency (25.88±0.74 ms vs 24.46±2.64 ms, p=0.002) was significantly longer in left-handed individuals. Likewise, right ulnar nerve distal latency (2.45±0.76 ms vs 2.14±0.39 ms, p=0.044), and right ulnar nerve F wave minimum (25.9±1.21 ms vs 24.85 ms±1.74, p=0.030) were significantly high in left-handed individuals.

Conclusions: NCS parameters in terms of latencies were longer in left-handed individuals. Therefore, limb dominance seems to be an important factor one should pay attention during bilateral comparison of obtained data in neurophysiological reporting of referred cases.


Limb dominance, Motor nerves, Nerve conduction study

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