Symptoms and neurophysiological picture of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy

L. Padua, I. Aprile, P. Caliandro, T. Carboni, A. Meloni, S. Massi, O. Mazza, M. Mondelli, A. Morini, D. Murasecco, M. Romano, P. Tonali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in pregnancy through a validated and multiperspective assessment of CTS. Methods: During 2000, the Italian CTS study group focussed on the occurrence of CTS in women during the final stages of pregnancy, enrolled in 7 Italian centers. In addition to the physician-centered and neurophysiologic traditional evaluations, we used a validated patient-oriented measurement to obtain more comprehensive and consistent data for severity of symptoms and functional impairment. Results: In our study, CTS was clinically diagnosed in more than half of women (62%). Neurophysiological evaluation provided diagnosis of CTS in around half of women (43% were positive in one hand at least). Our study provides evidence, reported here for the first time, of a correlation between edema and neurophysiological picture. Similarly, our study provides a correlation between validated patient-oriented measurement and edema. Moreover, a significant correlation between a negative trend (subjectively assessed) and smoking and alcohol consumption was observed. Conclusions: Our observations confirm that the edema of the tissues in the carpal tunnel could induce a mechanical compression of the nerve. Moreover, our data suggest that smoking and alcohol consumption have a negative role in the evolution of the syndrome probably due to impairment of the microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1946-1951
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Edema
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Neurophysiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Patient-oriented
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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