Reliability of Nerve Function Assessments for People with Peripheral Neuropathy

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International Journal of Neuroscience






Examining degenerative sensory and reflexive activity among people with peripheral neuropathy (PN) is important for clinical examinations and understanding relevant neural impairments. However, other than the test of presynaptic inhibition, the reliability of other related tests is largely unknown. The purpose of this project was to examine the test-retest reliability of lower extremity sensory and reflexive measures in people with PN. Twelve participants (8 women, 4 men, age = 72.5 ± 9.2 years) diagnosed with PN were assessed on two occasions at least 7 days apart. Plantar sensitivity, H-reflex, and active and passive ankle proprioception (AAP and PAP) were tested. Paired student's t-test and Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used for statistical analysis. Significant difference was observed in AAP at 0º position (P = .04). No other significant differences were observed. Moderate to high reliability was observed at measures of Plantar sensitivity (.92), peak to peak H (.71) and M (.84) waves, latency between H and M (.78), H-Index (.85), AAP (.62) and PAP index (.60). Low reliability was observed of other parameters. The measures of Hmax, Mmax, latency, H-Index, plantar sensitivity, and AAP & PAP indices of proprioception tests can be measured reliably for further study in this population.