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Diagnostic accuracy of the neurological upper limb examination II: Relation to symptoms of patterns of findings

Jepsen, JR ; Laursen, LH ; Hagert, Carl-Göran LU ; Kreiner, S and Larsen, AI (2006) In BMC Neurology 6.
Abstract
Background: In a sample of patients in clinical occupational medicine we have demonstrated that an upper limb neurological examination can reliably identify patterns of findings suggesting upper limb focal neuropathies. This further study aimed at approaching the diagnostic accuracy of the examination. Methods: 82 limbs were semi-quantitatively assessed by two blinded examiners ( strength in 14 individual muscles, sensibility in 7 homonymous territories, and mechanosensitivity at 10 locations along nerves). Based on the topography of nerves and their muscular and sensory innervation we defined 10 neurological patterns each suggesting a localized nerve affliction. Information on complaints ( pain, weakness and/or numbness/tingling)... (More)
Background: In a sample of patients in clinical occupational medicine we have demonstrated that an upper limb neurological examination can reliably identify patterns of findings suggesting upper limb focal neuropathies. This further study aimed at approaching the diagnostic accuracy of the examination. Methods: 82 limbs were semi-quantitatively assessed by two blinded examiners ( strength in 14 individual muscles, sensibility in 7 homonymous territories, and mechanosensitivity at 10 locations along nerves). Based on the topography of nerves and their muscular and sensory innervation we defined 10 neurological patterns each suggesting a localized nerve affliction. Information on complaints ( pain, weakness and/or numbness/tingling) collected by others served as a reference for comparison. The relation between the presence of pattern(s) and complaints was assessed by kappa-statistics. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive values were calculated, and pretest odds were compared to post-test probability. Results: The two examiners identified pattern( s) suggesting focal neuropathy in 34/36 out of 38 symptomatic limbs, respectively (kappa = 0.70/0.75), with agreement in 28 limbs. Out of 44 non-symptomatic limbs the examiners agreed on absence of any pattern in 38 limbs. With concordance between the examiners with regard to the presence or absence of any pattern, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 0.73, 0.86, 0.93 and 0.90, respectively. While the pre-test odds for a limb to be symptomatic amounted to 0.46 the post-test probability was 0.81. For each examiner the post-test probability was 0.87 and 0.88, respectively. Conclusion: The improved diagnostic confidence is an indication of one aspect of construct validity of the physical examination. For determination of clinical feasibility of the examination further studies are required, most importantly 1) studies of validity by means of comparison with additional references and 2) studies of the potential benefit that can be attained from its use. (Less)
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publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
BMC Neurology
volume
6
publisher
BioMed Central (BMC)
external identifiers
  • pmid:16504144
  • wos:000238654400001
  • wos:000236220400001
  • scopus:33646126492
ISSN
1471-2377
DOI
10.1186/1471-2377-6-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c6604cdb-82bd-4731-aec7-6caa301d63bb (old id 404638)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:30:08
date last changed
2020-08-26 03:07:19
@article{c6604cdb-82bd-4731-aec7-6caa301d63bb,
  abstract     = {Background: In a sample of patients in clinical occupational medicine we have demonstrated that an upper limb neurological examination can reliably identify patterns of findings suggesting upper limb focal neuropathies. This further study aimed at approaching the diagnostic accuracy of the examination. Methods: 82 limbs were semi-quantitatively assessed by two blinded examiners ( strength in 14 individual muscles, sensibility in 7 homonymous territories, and mechanosensitivity at 10 locations along nerves). Based on the topography of nerves and their muscular and sensory innervation we defined 10 neurological patterns each suggesting a localized nerve affliction. Information on complaints ( pain, weakness and/or numbness/tingling) collected by others served as a reference for comparison. The relation between the presence of pattern(s) and complaints was assessed by kappa-statistics. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive values were calculated, and pretest odds were compared to post-test probability. Results: The two examiners identified pattern( s) suggesting focal neuropathy in 34/36 out of 38 symptomatic limbs, respectively (kappa = 0.70/0.75), with agreement in 28 limbs. Out of 44 non-symptomatic limbs the examiners agreed on absence of any pattern in 38 limbs. With concordance between the examiners with regard to the presence or absence of any pattern, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 0.73, 0.86, 0.93 and 0.90, respectively. While the pre-test odds for a limb to be symptomatic amounted to 0.46 the post-test probability was 0.81. For each examiner the post-test probability was 0.87 and 0.88, respectively. Conclusion: The improved diagnostic confidence is an indication of one aspect of construct validity of the physical examination. For determination of clinical feasibility of the examination further studies are required, most importantly 1) studies of validity by means of comparison with additional references and 2) studies of the potential benefit that can be attained from its use.},
  author       = {Jepsen, JR and Laursen, LH and Hagert, Carl-Göran and Kreiner, S and Larsen, AI},
  issn         = {1471-2377},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central (BMC)},
  series       = {BMC Neurology},
  title        = {Diagnostic accuracy of the neurological upper limb examination II: Relation to symptoms of patterns of findings},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2377-6-8},
  doi          = {10.1186/1471-2377-6-8},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2006},
}