HealthDay News — Ultrasound can accurately confirm the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
To compare the sensitivity and specificity of ultrasound and electrodiagnostic testing for diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, John R. Fowler, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues examined 85 patients. All patients were assessed with the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 6 (CTS-6) clinical diagnostic tool, which was used as the reference standard.
Ultrasound had a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 90%, while electrodiagnostic testing had a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 80%. The positive predictive values were 94% and 89%, respectively, for ultrasound and electrodiagnostic testing, while the negative predictive values were 82% and 80% , respectively. Ultrasound was accurate in 89% of cases, and electrodiagnostic testing was accurate in 86% of cases.
“While ultrasound will not replace electrodiagnostic testing in complicated or unclear cases, in a select group of patients with a positive CTS-6, ultrasound can be used to confirm the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome with better specificity and equal sensitivity as compared with those of electrodiagnostic testing,” concluded the authors.