Electrodiagnostic evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome


  • Robert A. Werner MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    • AANEM, 2621 Superior Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901
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  • Michael Andary MD, MS

    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
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  • This paper was reviewed and edited by committees of the AANEM. It did not undergo further review at Muscle & Nerve.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common nerve entrapment. Electrodiagnostic (EDX) studies are a valid and reliable means of confirming the diagnosis. This monograph addresses the various EDX techniques used to evaluate the median nerve at the wrist. It also demonstrates the limitations of EDX studies with a focus on the sensitivity and specificity of EDX testing for CTS. The need to use reference values for populations such as diabetics and active workers, where normative values differ from conventional cutoffs used to confirm suspected CTS, is presented. The value of needle electromyography (EMG) is examined. Muscle Nerve, 2011