Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test
Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) is a test which measures how fast electrical signals move through the peripheral nerve. The peripheral nerve connects the brain and spinal cord to the entire body as well as controls sensations and muscle coordination. The NCV test is a fundamental aspect of nerve conduction studies, used to assess nerve damage and dysfunction. Using this test, the doctors can easily differentiate between an injury to a nerve fiber vis-a-vis that to the myelin sheath (nerve protective covering). It also helps the doctor in identifying a nerve disorder or a condition wherein a nerve injury has affected the muscles.
Who can get the Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test done?
Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad use the Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test to identify various muscular and neuromuscular disorders including:
- Muscle disorders
- Peripheral nerve injury
- Sciatic nerve problem
- Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy & neuropathy
- Herniated disc disease
- CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) disease
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Guillain –Barré syndrome
- Pinched nerve
Doctors may perform an Electromyography (EMG) test as well along with the NCV test to detect the presence, location and extent of any disease that may cause damage to the nerve and muscles.
How to prepare for the Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test?
Here are some factors which might affect the results of an NCV test:
- Alcohol consumption
- Systemic diseases
- Use of neurologic medications such as muscle relaxants, opioids etc.
Inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker installed as the NCV test may affect the impulses of the medical device.
Your doctor may recommend you to avoid using ointment or lotions on the skin before the NCV test as these creams will prevent the electrodes from being properly placed on the skin.
Likewise, you may be asked to avoid food products which contain caffeine.
What to expect during the nerve conduction velocity test?
Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test is an outpatient procedure as it does not require a longer stay in the hospital. The general protocol that is required to be followed by the patient during a Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test is as follows:
- All metal objects which may interfere in the test process must be removed from the patient’s body.
- Wear loose clothing while going for the test.
- Sit or lie down during the test so that the doctor can easily find the nerve to be tested.
- 2 types of electrodes are fixed on the patient’s skin: One stimulates the nerve while the other records the stimulation. A specific kind of gel fixes the electrodes over the patient’s skin.
- These electrodes use mild & brief electrical shocks in order to stimulate the nerve.
- The test may take around 15-20 minutes on one limb to record sensations while for all limbs, it may take more than an hour to do so.
This test is not painful but may cause a little discomfort to the patient. It can be performed at multiple sites.
Understanding the results of the Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test
The normal range of a Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test varies between 50 & 60 meters per second. Doctors examine the test results along with other information and compare the test results against the standard norm for nerve velocities.
Various factors such as age, sex, body part being tested as well as the place wherein the patient lives may determine the test outcomes.
When the test results differ from the standard, it indicates that the nerve is either damaged or diseased.
Here are some reasons which can hamper the test results of nerve conduction velocity:
- Alcohol use
- Inherited disorders
- Nutritional deficiency
- Thyroid disease
- Kidney or liver failure
- Pressure from surrounding structure
- Herniated disc
The diagnosis of the affected nerve will depend upon the history of the patient as well as the symptoms. Treatment provided may vary depending upon the test results and health status of the patient. The recovery may be prolonged and uncertain, at times depending on the patient’s age. While short-term trauma can be easily healed, sustained trauma may produce long-term or irreversible nerve damage. Severely damaged nerves can be repaired with nerve grafts. Research is on to explore various ways of using culture cells for nerve growth promotion.
Some of the best doctors in Delhi NCR for conducting the NCV test
Visit Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad for getting your Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test done in case of any symptoms, as listed above. Yashoda Hospital, with its highly-specialized team of doctors, the best doctors in Delhi NCR and with their advanced and reliable technology, provides the best results ensuring patient satisfaction. Our doctors are highly trained with decades of experience providing you with the best care suitable to your needs.
Visit us or book an appointment in case of any help or assistance. We are ever ready to help you.