Autonomic dysfunction in idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome

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45 Scopus citations


While the sensorimotor features of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are well known, a prospective, systematic study of autonomic disturbances in CTS is lacking. Of 139 limbs with CTS (76 patients), autonomic symptoms were reported in 76 (47 patients). Of these, 59% consisted of swelling of the fingers, 39% dry palms, 33% Raynaud's phenomenon, and 32% blanching of the hand. Sympathetic skin response (SSR) had a sensitivity/specificity ratio of 34/89% in CTS with autonomic symptoms. The presence of autonomic disturbances was significantly associated with female gender (odds ratio 4.06, 95% CI 1.5-11.4, P = 0.007), SSR abnormalities (odds ratio 4.3, 95% CI 1.6-11.4, P = 0.003), and severity of electromyographic findings (odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1-3.3, P = 0.04) but not age, duration of disease, or clinical severity in a binary logistic regression model. Autonomic disturbances are common (55%) in CTS, occurring with increasing severity of electrophysiologic findings. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1213
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


  • Autonomic
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Median nerve
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Sympathetic skin response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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