Slowly conducting potentials in human sensory nerves

W. Raabe, D. Walk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In clinical practice, small myelinated sensory fibers, Aδ-fibers, conveying mainly pain and temperature sensations, cannot be examined with available nerve conduction study techniques. Currently, these fibers can only be examined with experimental or very specialized and not commonly available nerve conduction techniques, or only indirectly with cerebral evoked potentials. New Method: This study uses equipment and methods available in clinical neurophysiology laboratories to record from human sensory nerves ≥1000 averaged responses to focal, non-painful stimuli applied by a special electrode to epidermal nerves. The averaged responses to odd numbered stimuli are compared to the averaged responses to even numbered stimuli. An algorithm identifies potentials common in both averages. The 99th and 99.9th percentiles for this algorithm are obtained from control records without stimulation and applied to records with stimulation to identify potentials resulting from stimulation of intraepidermal nerves. Results: The algorithm identifies numerous negative and positive potentials as being different from controls at the 99th and 99.9th percentile levels. The conduction velocities of the potentials range from of 1.3–29.9 m/s and are compatible with conduction velocities of Aδ-fibers. Comparison with existing Method(s): No existing methods. Conclusions: The stimulation, recording and data analysis methods used in this study can be applied in the clinical EMG laboratory to identify Aδ-fibers in human sensory nerves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109045
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • A-delta fibers
  • Intraepidermal stimulation
  • Near nerve recording
  • Sensory nerve conduction
  • Single fiber action potentials
  • Technique

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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