Nerve conduction velocity test is aform of electrical test which serves the purpose of determiningwhether one's nerve impulses are conducted properly or not.Therefore, if there are damages affecting the nerves, this test isgoing to detect them.
The nerve conduction velocity test isperformed by stimulating the nerve so that it releases an electricimpulse which is later measured. In order for this to be possible,electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin of the patient. Theplace of application of these electrode patches can vary.
Nerve Conduction Velocity Test
The electrodes used for this testingare similar to those used during a regular ECG testing and each patchprovides different information about the electrical activity of theimpulse stimulating the nerve. In order for the test to be moreeffective and thorough, it is commonly combined withelectromyography, taking information from needles which are placedinside the muscle tissue.
The nerve conduction velocity test isnot painful, even though you might experience mild shockingsensations, depending on the strength of the stimulus. However, bythe end of the testing, you should not feel any forms of discomfortor pain. Yet, the electromyography may result in muscle spasms. Also,once this test is done, the muscles which were exposed to the needlesmay be sore for a while.
It is crucial that you maintain normalbody temperature during the nerve conduction velocity test and yourdoctor will do his/her best to assist you with this. Low bodytemperature slows down the nerve conduction and, thereby, leads toinadequate results.
Moreover, you need to inform yourdoctor if you have a pacemaker in your body or a cardiacdefibrillator device, since certain modifications will need to bedone to the testing in order for it to be safe for your health.
Normal test results can vary, dependingon the age of the patients and even the laboratory where this test iscarried out. Nevertheless, your doctor will known how to interpretthe results of your nerve conduction velocity test so that you canunderstand them completely. In order for the results of babies to beconsidered normal, these need to be at least 50% smaller than normalresults for adults. However, the adult values are expected after thechild is 3 or 4 years old.
Usually, people who experience symptomslike numbness, tingling and burning in certain parts of their bodyare those who have this form of testing recommended by theirphysicians, taking into consideration that this test can revealconditions such as peripheral neuropathy and mononeuritis multiplex,or even carpal tunnel syndrome and compression neuropathy.
Why is the Test Done?
The main purpose of this form oftesting, as it was mentioned above, is diagnosing of the level ofnerve damage or destruction. Also, during the testing, variousdiseases of the nerves and the muscles can be detected. Some of theseare myopathy, Lambert-Eaton syndrome or myasthenia gravis.
Furthermore, the nerve conductionvelocity test is a recommended step to take once the patient isdiagnosed with nerve lesions due to a spinal cord injury or any otherform of trauma to the nerves. Additionally, people suffering fromneuromuscular junction disorders need to undergo repetitive nervestimulation as a part of this testing.
Also, the nerve conduction test is veryuseful during the diagnosis of muscle disorders such as myositis ormyopathy, as well as some generalized neuropathies, encompassinguremic, metabolic and immune variants of this disease.
Some other suitable patients for thisform of testing are people who show symptoms such as pain in jointsor limbs, general weakness or fatigue, cramps or twitching.
However, nerve conduction velocity testcan be an effective tool for the diagnosis of many other conditions.Yet, if this test is not suitable, then the electromyography isconducted. Still, doctor's should not perform this invasive test onpeople who are on anticoagulant therapies with warfarin and directthrombin inhibitors.
Most of these conditions requireregular testing of this type, administered once or twice during everyyear of the treatment. This way, doctors can monitor the progress ofthe patient and rest assured that the therapy is taking the adequatecourse.
Finally, the nerve conduction velocitytest can also be done for the purpose of diagnosing conditions whichare related to the carpal tunnel syndrome such as tarsal tunnelsyndrome, nerve root compression, neuritis, motor neuropathy,mononeuropathy, radiculopathy and plexopathy.
All in all, the nerve conductionvelocity test is a very useful diagnostic tool used for determiningthe levels of nerve damage in one's organism. The test is carried outby placing electrodes on certain parts of the patient's body. Theelectrodes are connected to a computer which collects the data anddisplays the results. Therefore, if there are any problems with theconduction velocity of the nerves, this test will reveal it.