Ultrasonography for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome: an umbrella review.

Lin T., Chang K., Wu W., Özçakar L.

Journal of neurology, vol.269, no.9, pp.4663-4675, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 269 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00415-022-11201-z
  • Journal Name: Journal of neurology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.4663-4675
  • Keywords: Median nerve, Entrapment neuropathy, Peripheral nerve, Ultrasound, Sonoelastography, Diagnostic imaging, ULTRASOUND ELASTOGRAPHY, MEDIAN NERVE, DOPPLER ULTRASOUND, SONOGRAPHY, PATHOPHYSIOLOGY, METAANALYSIS, PREVALENCE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Numerous sonographic modalities and parameters have been used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), with varying accuracy. Our umbrella review aimed to summarize the evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses regarding the use of ultrasound imaging to diagnose CTS. Methods Systematic reviews and meta-analyses meeting the inclusion criteria were searched in PubMed, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases from inception to March 2022. Critical appraisal, data extraction, and synthesis were performed in accordance with the criteria for conducting an umbrella review. Results Sixteen reviews were included. Three reviews were classified as high quality, one as moderate, four as low, and eight as critically low. The cross-sectional area (CSA) of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel inlet demonstrated the best reliability and diagnostic accuracy among multiple parameters. A cutoff CSA value of 9-10.5 mm(2) gave the highest diagnostic performance in the general population. The degree of CSA enlargement was correlated with CTS severity. Sonoelastography and Doppler ultrasound might provide additional insights into CTS evaluation as median nerve stiffness and vascularity at the wrist were increased in these patients. Conclusions Sonography is a reliable tool to diagnose CTS, with inlet CSA being the most robust parameter. Sonoelastography and Doppler ultrasound can serve as auxiliary tools to confirm CTS diagnoses. Further studies are needed to expand the use of sonography for diagnosing CTS, especially in the presence of concomitant neuromuscular disease(s).