High-resolution ultrasonography of the cutaneous nerve branches in the hand and wrist

A. STOKVIS, J. W. VAN NECK, C. F. VAN DIJKE, A. VAN WAMEL, J. H. COERT
Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)2009
Ultrasonography can be used in the diagnosis of various neuropathies, including nerve injury. Nerves often involved in traumatic and iatrogenic injury are small cutaneous branches in the hand and wrist, which cannot be seen in detail using current ultrasound probes. This study explored the potential of high-resolution ultrasonography in seeing these nerve branches in the human. The VisualSonics Vevo 770 system with a 15-82.5 MHz probe was compared to a commonly used 5-12 MHz probe and ultrasound machine. The accuracy was validated by ultrasound guided dye injection into cadaver nerves, with subsequent anatomical dissection and verification. Results were confirmed in two healthy volunteers. The Vevo 770 system was able to accurately identify the small cutaneous nerves. It could also depict the median nerve and its fascicles in greater detail. This may be useful for clinical diagnosis, localisation and follow-up of neuropathies and nerve injuries.
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