The AANEM Normative Data Taskforce (NDTF) reports on establishing high quality reference values for nerve conduction studies (NCSs) were published in the September issue of Muscle & Nerve.
Because there are not uniform standards for NCSs in the United States, taskforce members reviewed over 7500 articles to identify high quality studies regarding nerve conduction techniques and reference values for commonly tested upper and lower limb nerves. These studies represent a practical set of nerve conduction techniques and reference values suitable for use by electrodiagnostic (EDX) physicians, technicians and EDX laboratories.
Following the publications, Ted M. Burns, MD, of the AANEM Podcast Committee interviewed NDTF Chair Timothy R. Dillingham, MD. Dr. Dillingham said, “The NDTF has done the difficult work of scouring the literature and identifying high quality articles for our members. Nerve conduction testing techniques and normative reference values from these studies that met a high quality standard are now presented for our membership to use in an easy to follow tabular format.”
“It was an interesting and thought-provoking interview with Tim,” said Dr. Burns. “He and his committee did a ton of work and their recommendations need serious consideration. I hope people will listen carefully to what Tim says and also read those papers.”
to listen to Drs. Dillingham and Burns discuss the publications.
Both reports are available via the AANEM website on the Guidelines & Quality page. The first paper, Establishing high quality reference values for nerve conduction studies: A report from the normative data task force of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic,
presents the taskforce’s work and describes criteria for assessment of published nerve conduction papers. These criteria include requirements for sample characteristics, minimal sample sizes, and statistical methodologies used to analyze nerve conduction parameters.
The second publication, Electrodiagnostic reference values for upper and lower limb nerve conduction studies in adult populations,
presents ten studies identified using the quality criteria. EDX Practitioners currently using other published studies as the basis for their laboratory techniques and reference values may consider incorporating these normative reference values into their practices.