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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(5): 404-410.
One Year Follow-up Study of Symptomatic Cases of Ulnar Neuropathy at the Elbow in a Rural Population.
Young Joo Sim, Hyun Sul Lim
1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea. wisewine@dongguk.ac.kr
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the natural history of symptomatic patients who did or did not display abnormal results on nerve conduction studies (NCS). METHODS: Forty hundred fifty adults were selected among a total of 578 residents who participated in the health examination in a rural Korean district. A symptom questionnaire and NCS were used to diagnose ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE). There were 6.4% of the subjects with UNE, 5.1% of the subjects showed symptoms without a NCS, and 84.2% of the subjects who were asymptomatic. One year later, 20 symptomatic limbs with an abnormality on the ulnar NCS and 22 symptomatic limbs without any abnormality in the ulnar NCS were enrolled in a follow-up study. The natural history of UNE was evaluated by examining the changes in the clinical and electrodiagnostic examinations. RESULTS: The 1-year follow-up of the enrolled limbs found that for the symptomatic limbs with an abnormality on the NCS, the degree of severe of the clinical grade changed from 20% to 10%. In contrast, for the symptomatic limbs that were without any abnormality in the NCS, the change of the severe degree of the clinical grade was from 0% to 18.2%. Also, for the electrodiagnostic change, only symptomatic limbs without NCS abnormalities showed significant changes in motor latency, amplitude and conduction velocity at the 1-year follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: The 1-year follow-up study revealed symptomatic limbs that were without any abnormality on the ulnar NCS were more likely to progress than the symptomatic limbs with an abnormality on the ulnar NCS.
Key words: Ulnar neuropathies; Elbow; Natural history; Electrodiagnosis
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