Predictive value of ultrasonography in polyneuropathy diagnosis: electrophysiological and ultrasonographic analysis

Yavuz K., Yurdakul F. G., Guler T., BODUR H.

Rheumatology International, vol.43, no.9, pp.1733-1742, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-023-05356-9
  • Journal Name: Rheumatology International
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1733-1742
  • Keywords: Electrophysiology, Median nerve, Polyneuropathies, Tibial nerve, Ultrasonic diagnosis
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Peripheral neuropathy may cause serious complications such as foot ulcers and Charcot joint which can prevent by early diagnosis. We aimed to analyze the diagnostic value of ultrasonographic measurements of nerves and muscles in distal symmetric axonal polyneuropathy (DSAP). Study included 51 DSAP patients and 51 controls. Nerve conduction studies were performed. Median, ulnar, tibial, superficial peroneal, and sural nerves and the abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi (ADM), first dorsal interosseous (FDI), extensor digitorum brevis (EDB), abductor hallucis (AH) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were evaluated with ultrasound. The Toronto clinical scoring system (TCSS) was used to assess the severity of neuropathy. The median, ulnar, and tibial nerve cross-sectional areas (CSA) were higher in the DSAP group (p = 0.025, p = 0.011, p < 0.001 respectively) while superficial peroneal and sural nerve CSAs were not differed. Only AH and EDB ultrasonographic findings from the muscles differed between the two groups. Effect of diabetes and DSAP on sonographic findings were assessed with two-way ANOVA. Results indicated that only DSAP had a significant effect on sonographic nerve and muscle examination. The area under the ROC curve was 0.831 ± 0.042 for tibial nerve CSA (p < 0.001) with a cut-off value of 15.5 mm2 (sensitivity 74% and specificity 83%). Median, ulnar and tibial nerve CSAs were found to be larger in polyneuropathy patients and they were associated with the clinical and electrophysiological severity of polyneuropathy. ROC analysis showed that tibial nerve CSA may have a predictive value in the diagnosis of DSAP.