What is a Nerve Conduction Velocity Test?
A nerve conduction study or a nerve conduction velocity test (NCV) is an electrical test that is used to determine the adequacy of the conduction of the nerve impulse as it courses down a nerve. This test is used to detect signs of nerve injury.
In this test, the nerve is electrically stimulated, and the electrical impulse ‘downstream’ from the stimulus is measured. This is usually done with surface patch electrodes (they are similar to those used for an electrocardiogram) that are placed on the skin over the nerve at various locations. One electrode stimulates the nerve with a very mild electrical impulse. The resulting electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes.
The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to calculate the speed of impulse transmission (nerve conduction velocity). A decreased speed of transmission indicates nerve disease. A nerve conduction velocity test is often done at the same time as an electromyogram (EMG) to exclude or detect muscle conditions.
When is a Nerve Conduction Velocity Test Used?
Symptoms that might prompt a health care professional to order a nerve conduction velocity test include numbness, tingling, and/or burning sensations. The nerve conduction velocity test can be used to detect true nerve disorders (such as peripheral neuropathy and mononeuritis multiplex) or conditions whereby nerves are affected by mechanical compression injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome and compression neuropathy).
Normal body temperature must be maintained for the nerve conduction velocity test because low body temperatures slow nerve conduction. Dr. Khan listens carefully to your symptoms and orders appropriate tests like MRI scans, electromyographic studies with nerve conduction testing, and evoked potential studies, to get more detailed information about your condition. At Arizona Institute of Neurology, we perform all these tests, in the comfort of our office, except Radiology. Dr. Khan performs and interprets these tests personally. Advanced Neuropathy Care:
If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands, feet, arms, or legs and your doctor is concerned about you having neuropathic pain and that you need specialized medical care, the Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography is the right place for you. Dr. Khan evaluates and treats all types of neuropathies.
Want To Learn More About Nerve Conduction Velocity Tests?
We offer advanced, in-office testing to evaluate your condition. If you have neuropathy, we will work with you and your doctor to help you feel better, stay more active, and enjoy a better quality of life. Don’t give up hope for finding relief from your chronic pain. Schedule a consultation at the Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography to find out how we can help you.