Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Ulnar Neuropathy at the Cubital Tunnel

Ethan R. Wiesler MD, George D. Chloros MD, Michael S.Cartwright MD, Hae W. Shin BS and Francis O. Walker MD

The purpose of this study was to document the ultrasonographic differences in ulnar nerve size between patients with ulnar neuropathy at the cubital tunnel (UCT) and control subjects, and to correlate those differences with clinical examination findings and nerve conduction study abnormalities, thereby testing the validity of ultrasound (US) as an additional adjunct diagnostic modality for UCT.  The results show that the average cross sectional area of the ulnar nerve was 0.065 cm2 in the control group, whereas in the UCT group it was 0.19 cm2, indicating a significant statistical difference in ulnar nerve size between the 2 groups.  The authors conclude that high-resolution US is a noninvasive, safe, and reliable modality for imaging the ulnar nerve at the elbow and it may provide a valuable adjunct to NCS in the diagnosis of UCT.

The Journal of Hand Surgery, Volume 31, Issue 7, September 2006, Pages 1088-1093

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