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AANEM News Express

Science News: Prospective Evaluation of the Incidence and Persistence of Gestational Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

2/21/2019
 
Submitted by: Lisa M. Williams, MD
Edited by: Bryan DeSouza, MD


Mora A, Blazar PE, Teplitz BA, Rogers J, Economy K, Earp BE. Prospective evaluation of the incidence and persistence of gestational carpal tunnel syndrome. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2018.06.036. 

Pregnancy is a known risk factor for gestational carpal tunnel syndrome (GCTS), however the incidence is not known. Currently there is no known specific demographic or comorbid conditions associated with the incidence of GCTS.

A study of 420 pregnant patients was conducted in which they completed the Levine-Katz Questionnaire (LKQ) in their third trimester of pregnancy. Symptomatic woman in their third trimester were followed up with at 2-6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months postpartum. Follow-ups continued in symptomatic women until symptoms resolved or women underwent surgical treatment. 

The findings were that 102 women (27.7%) were symptomatic and diagnosed with GCTS during their third trimester. Postpartum follow-up was completed with 65% of the women. 4.6% had escalation of symptoms at one year. Women with and without GCTS were of similar age ranges (32.2-32.9), had higher rates of smoking (28.9% versus 13.3%), higher pre-gravid BMI (28.2 versus 26.1), higher rates of preeclampsia (9.3 versus 2.3%) and similar rates of cardiac disease and diabetes.  

Comment: There is a high incidence of GCTS in the third trimester in previously asymptomatic patients and symptoms may persist beyond pregnancy. There are demographic and comorbid conditions associated with the incidence and perseverance of GCTS. 


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