Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive technique used to measure tissue oxygenation. In this study we describe oxyneurography (ONG), a novel application of the NIRS technique in non-invasive surface measurement of oxygenation in ulnar nerve.
NIRS sensors were applied directly over the ulnar epicondylar groove to measure the ulnar nerve ONG index, a ratio of oxygenated over total hemoglobin content. Ulnar motor conduction studies were obtained in all subjects.
The ONG index and ulnar motor conduction had a positive linear association. Ulnar motor conduction could be linearly predicted by the ONG index. The ONG index showed a sensitivity of 1.0 and a specificity of 0.852 for the presence of an ulnar neuropathy symptom. During limb ischemia, the ONG index gradually decreased.
Oxyneurography can lead to the early detection of a compromise in a nerve's oxygenation status leading to neuropathy. Muscle Nerve 45:75–80, 2012