Evaluation of the median nerve by shear wave elastography in patients with Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A

Diandian Huang, Lingchao Meng, Liu Jiang, Zhaoxia Wang, Luzeng Chen, Yun Yuan


Aims: Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is characterized by enlargement and stiffness of peripheral nerves due to edema with large numbers of “onion bulbs” in the endoneurium. Ultrasound elastography seems to be an ideal method to detect this condition. The aim of this study was to analyze the shear wave elastography (SWE) features of peripheral nerves in patients with CMT1A.

Material and methods: We included 24 CMT1A patients with a mean age of 28 years, along with 24 age- and gender-matched controls. All patients presented with mutations of the PMP22 gene and showed length-dependent polyneuropathy. The motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) of the median nerve ranged from 5.2 to 37.4 m/s. SWE and cross-sectional area (CSA) were used to evaluate the bilateral median nerves at predefined sites in both patients and con-trols.

Results: The average elastography value (EV) of the median nerve was 73.5±11.7 kPa in patients with CMT1A and 37.5±6.1 kPa in control subjects. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). In CMT1A pa-tients, the average EV at the proximal and distal parts of the median nerve were 81.4±9.4 kPa and 65.2±8.1 kPa, respectively. The average CSAs at the proximal and distal parts of the median nerve were 0.29±0.06 cm2 and 0.20±0.05 cm2, respectively. The EV on SWE was positively correlated with CSA (p< 0.01) and negatively correlated with MNCV in the median nerve (p< 0.01).

Conclusions: Peripheral nerve stiffness dramatically increases in CMT1A and is correlated with the severity of nerve involvement.


Elastography; Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease; nerve cross-sectional area; ultrasound

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-3938


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