Electrophysiologic findings and grip strength after nerve injuries in the rat forelimb

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36 Scopus citations


We developed electrophysiologic methods for testing the three major forelimb nerves as a tool to evaluate motor and sensory recovery in rats. Median, ulnar, or radial nerves were transected and repaired in Sprague-Dawley rats. Compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) were recorded preoperatively and at various postoperative intervals. Correlation between grip strength and CMAPs was investigated. Reliable CMAPs were recorded for all three nerves. Median- or ulnar-nerve-derived SSEPs were reliably recorded; radial SSEPs could not be recorded. CMAPs followed typical regeneration patterns after nerve repair. SSEPs showed a consistent peak latency but fluctuating amplitude. Grip strength and median CMAP amplitude correlated positively. We conclude that it is possible to conduct minimally invasive electrophysiologic testing in rat forelimbs. The CMAP is a valid parameter that shows the typical time course of nerve regeneration and reinnervation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1265
Number of pages12
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Compound muscle action potential
  • Grip strength
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Rat
  • Somatosensory evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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