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Doppler sonography for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome: A critical review



Introduction: Doppler sonography may detect increased intraneural blood flow of the median nerve in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the literature about the diagnostic value of increased intraneural flow detected by sonography in CTS Methods: Systematic review of studies published between 1985 and 2013. Results: The 7 studies we found had considerable differences in study design and had methodological shortcomings. Doppler sonography had a median sensitivity of 72% (range, 41–95%) and a median specificity of 88% (range, 71–100%). Most studies could not compare the diagnostic value of sonography to that of electrophysiological studies, because the latter were often used as a reference test. Conclusions: Increased intraneural flow detected by Doppler sonography may be a promising diagnostic test for CTS, but further studies are needed before it can be implemented in clinical practice. Muscle Nerve 50:159–163, 2014