Segmental nerve conduction velocity in vibration-expose shipyard workers

M. Cherniack, A. J. Brammer, R. Lundstrom, J. Meyer, T. F. Morse, G. Nealy, T. Nilsson, D. Peterson, E. Toppilla, N. Warren, R. W. Fu, H. Bruneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Segmental sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) was measured from the wrists to the hands and digits of a population of vibration-exposed shipyard workers. This study was designed to investigate whether SNCV was selectively slowed in the fingers and whether a laboratory approach could be adapted for robust field use. Methods: Wrist-palm, palm-proximal digit, and digital segments were determined from stimulation at the wrist with recording electrodes placed distally and adjusted to individual anatomy. The cohort was selected on the basis of current use of vibratory tools. Results: Wrist-palm and digital segments were slower than palm-proximal digit segments for dominant and non-dominant hands and for both ulnar and median nerves. In the dominant-hand median nerve of participants with current exposure, the SNCV was 41.4 m/s (SD 8.0) for the wrist-palm segment, 50.8 (SD 9.5) for the palm segment, and 42.1 m/s (SD 9.3) for the digital segment. Temperature had an important effect on nerve conduction velocity but not equally across segments. Other explanatory variables had modest effect on SNCV. Conclusions: Reduced SNCV in the digits may be a consequence of industrial exposure to vibration. Each sensory nerve segment appeared to have a different characteristic velocity and different pattern of association with skin temperature. There are differences between median and ulnar nerve segments, with potentially important consequences when standard distances are used to assess wrist-digit velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Electrode
  • Onset latency
  • Segmental nerve conduction velocity
  • Temperature correction
  • Vibration exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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