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Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1572–1580 | Cite as

Handheld Electrical Impedance Myography Probe for Assessing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Zhao Li
  • Lingfen Chen
  • Yu Zhu
  • Qingquan Wei
  • Wenwen Liu
  • Dong Tian
  • Yude Yu
Article

Abstract

Electrical impedance myography (EIM) is a novel, noninvasive, and painless technique for quantitatively assessing muscle health as well as disease status and progression. The preparatory work for commercial adhesive electrodes used in previous EIM measurements is tedious, as the electrodes need to be cut, repeatedly applied, and removed. Moreover, the electrode distances need to be measured many times. To overcome these problems, we developed a convenient and practical handheld EIM probe for assessing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in the small hand muscles. To reduce the electrode–skin contact impedance (ESCI), the micropillared and microholed stainless steel electrodes (SSEs) contained in the probe were fabricated using a laser processing technique. When covered with saline, these electrodes showed lower ESCIs than a smooth SSE and Ag/AgCl electrode. The probe was shown to have excellent test–retest reproducibility in both healthy subjects and CTS patients, with intraclass correlation coefficients exceeding 0.975. The reactance and phase values of the abductor pollicis brevis (affected muscle) for CTS patients were consistently lower than those for healthy subjects, with a 50-kHz difference of 37.1% (p < 0.001) and 31.0% (p < 0.001), respectively. Further, no significant differences were detected in the case of the abductor digiti minimi (unaffected muscle). These results indicate that EIM has considerable potential for CTS assessment and hence merits further investigation.

Keywords

Muscle impedance Microstructures Handheld probe Neuromuscular assessment 

Abbreviations

ADM

Abductor digiti minimi

ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

APB

Abductor pollicis brevis

CMAP

Compound motor action potential

CTS

Carpal tunnel syndrome

DML

Distal motor latency

EIM

Electrical impedance myography

ESCI

Electrode-skin contact impedance

ICC

Intraclass correlation coefficient

SNAP

Sensory nerve action potential

SNCV

Sensory nerve conduction velocity

SSE

Stainless steel electrode

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61376072, 61334008). The authors acknowledge the support of the Department of Hand Surgery, HuaShan Hospital of Fudan University.

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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics, Institute of SemiconductorsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Hand SurgeryHuashan Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Upstate Medical University at SyracuseState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  4. 4.College of Materials Science and Opto-Electronic TechnologyUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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