Nerve conduction studies: Basic concepts

Jinny Tavee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Nerve conduction studies (NCSs) are an essential tool in the evaluation of the peripheral nervous system. The sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) provides information on the sensory nerve axon and its pathway from the distal receptors in the skin to the dorsal root ganglia, while the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) is an assessment of the motor nerve fibers from their origins in the anterior horn cell to their termination along muscle fibers. Various parameters of the SNAP and CMAP waveforms are used to determine the number of functioning nerve fibers and the speed of conduction. Similarly, specific electrodiagnostic patterns involving SNAP and CMAP amplitudes, latencies and other measurements can help discern the underlying nerve pathophysiology as either axon loss or demyelinating in nature. Numerous technical and environmental factors can affect the NCS and should be recognized and corrected if possible. Finally, while basic NCSs are a noninvasive and low-risk procedure, safety issues for patients with implanted electrical devices should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Axon loss
  • Conduction block
  • Demyelination
  • Motor nerve action potential
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Sensory nerve action potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nerve conduction studies: Basic concepts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this