Utility of the cutaneous silent period in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome

Yong Seo Koo, Ha Rim Park, Byung Euk Joo, Jeong Yoon Choi, Ki Young Jung, Kun Woo Park, S. Charles Cho, Byung Jo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study investigates the utility of the cutaneous silent period (CuSP) in evaluating patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods: The authors measured the CuSP from the abductor pollicis brevis muscle in 135 hands of patients with idiopathic CTS and 30 hands of age- and gender-matched controls. The patient group was further divided into subgroups according to the Canterbury scale. The differences in parameters between the patient subgroups and control group were analysed. A predetermined analysis looked at the possible correlation between the CuSP and symptom severity as measured by the Boston-Questionnaire. Results: The mean CuSP latencies in the patient group (72.4 ± 16.1. ms) was significantly longer than the control group (64.6 ± 13.4. ms; P=0.014), although there was no difference in the duration of the CuSP between groups. The duration and latency of the CuSP correlated to a higher severity on the Canterbury scale (r=0.273, P<0.001 and r=-0.164, P=0.036, respectively). However, the CuSP parameters did not correlate with the Boston-Questionnaire scores. Conclusions: Although patients with CTS had significantly prolonged CuSP latency, the CuSP did not correlate with the clinical symptoms scale. Significance: The CuSP is a useful ancillary test to evaluate Aδ fibre function; however, it is not a reliable tool to quantify clinical severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1584-1588
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cutaneous silent period
  • Small fibre neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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