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Acta ortopédica mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 2306-4102


CRISTIANI-WINER, M et al. Sensitivity and specificity of three complementary methods in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Acta ortop. mex [online]. 2020, vol.34, n.1, pp.31-37.  Epub 27-Sep-2021. ISSN 2306-4102.


Currently there is no universally accepted standard of reference for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome so it is considered a «latent class» pathology, that is, it lacks any diagnostic tests that absolutely certain the presence of disease.


Prospective, observational and analytical study evaluating the three diagnostic methods used for carpal tunnel syndrome (clinical examination, ultrasound and electromyography). Normality values were set for each diagnostic method.


50 people (14 men and 36 women) were evaluated. The clinical examination showed a positive and significant correlation with the diameter of the affected median nerve (ecography) (R = 0.694, p = 0.032). The values of the under the curve area (UCA) for median nerve conduction speed (MNCS), cubital nerve conduction speed (CNCS), and distal latency (DL) by electromyography were 0.60, 0.519 and less than 0.50 respectively. This states that the diagnostic value of electromyography characteristics is bad.


Our work establishes clinical examination as a good quality tool being the most sensitive method for diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. If there was a need for diagnostic confirmation, the ultrasound proved to be a highly satisfactory study generating less stress, pain and invasion to the patient, decreasing health expenditure and speeding up the process.

Palabras llave : Carpal tunnel; complementary methods; diagnosis; accuracy.

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