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Ultrasound scanning in the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathies
  1. Johan A Telleman1,
  2. Ingrid JT Herraets1,
  3. H Stephan Goedee2,
  4. J Thies van Asseldonk1,
  5. Leo H Visser1
  1. 1 Neurology, Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Neurology, Brain Center UMC Utrecht, UMC Utrecht Hersencentrum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Johan A Telleman, Neurology, Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands; j.telleman{at}


Nerve ultrasound scanning has become a valuable diagnostic tool in the routine workup of peripheral nerve disorders, effectively complementing conventional electrodiagnostic studies. The most relevant sonographic features are nerve size and structural integrity. Several peripheral neuropathies show characteristic and distinct patterns of nerve enlargement, allowing their early and accurate identification, and reducing test-burden and diagnostic delay for patients. In mononeuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, nerve enlargement develops only at specific sites of entrapment, while in polyneuropathy the nerve enlargement may be multifocal, regional or even diffuse. Nerve ultrasound scanning can reliably identify chronic inflammatory neuropathies, even when extensive electrodiagnostic studies fail, and it should therefore be embedded in routine diagnostic workup of peripheral neuropathies. In this paper we describe a potential diagnostic strategy to achieve this.

  • neuropathy
  • neurophysiol
  • clinical
  • peripheral neuropathology
  • ultrasound

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  • Contributors JAT: conception and design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting and revising the work. IJTH, HSG, TvA and LHV: conception and design of the study, analysis and interpretation of data, revising the work. All authors approved the manuscript. The corresponding author takes full responsibility for the analyses and interpretation of the data and conduct of research. The corresponding author has full access to all data and has the right to publish all data separate and apart from any sponsor.

  • Funding Part of the research described in this review was funded by grants from Prinses Beatrix Spierfonds (PBS W.OR14-08) and ZonMW, Xperiment Topzorg (project number 842003002).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Jeremy Bland, Canterbury, UK.

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