Reference values for the cross-sectional area of normal radial nerve at two levels using high-resolution ultrasonography

Kunwar Pal Singh, Achal Singh Goindi, Kamlesh Gupta

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2021; 21: e112–e126
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2021.0020

Aim of the study: High-resolution ultrasound is less often used to evaluate the radial nerves. The radial nerve is often involved in entrapment syndromes. The aim of the study is to establish the reference values for the cross-sectional area of the normal radial nerve on high-resolution ultrasonography, and to identify relationships between the cross-sectional area and the subject’s age, gender, height, weight, body mass index, and hand dominance. Material and methods: The study was conducted on 200 subjects of both sexes, between 18 and 75 years of age, who did not have history of peripheral neuropathy or trauma to the upper limb. Highresolution real-time sonographic examination of the radial nerves was performed in both arms at two different levels. Level 1 was taken just proximal to the nerve bifurcation, and level 2 just after the nerve exits the spiral grove. Results: The mean cross-sectional area measured at level 2 (4.3 ± 0.4 mm2) was greater than that measured at level 1 (2.3 ± 0.3 mm2). No significant relationship was seen with age and hand dominance (p > 0.05), but the cross-sectional area values at above mentioned levels were larger in males than in females (p < 0.05). In addition, the cross-sectional areas of the radial nerves showed a positive correlation with height, weight, and body mass index (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The established ultrasonographic reference values along with basic clinical data will aid in the diagnosis, response to treatment, and prognostic evaluation of peripheral neuropathies.

radial nerve, high resolution ultrasonography, ultrasound, cross-sectional area, peripheral nerves