> Objective and methods: > A large reference value database for F wave parameters was constructed with data from 121 to 196 healthy subjects; the age range of the subjects was 14-95 years. We studied the following parameters: minimum F wave latency (FMINLAT), mean F wave latency (FMEANLAT), maximum F wave latency (FMAXLAT), number of F waves/20 stimuli (FNUMBER) and F wave dispersion (FDISP=FMAXLAT-FMINLAT). The median, ulnar, peroneal and tibial nerves were studied.
> Results: > Height explains almost half of the FMINLAT variability. The F wave latency increases with height in the arms by 0.2 ms/cm and in legs 0.4 ms/cm. The effect of age on F wave latency in the arms is relatively small, only 0.03 ms/year; and in the legs age increases the FMINLAT by 0.1 ms/year. Gender does not affect FMINLAT in a systematic way. The peroneal nerve has slightly longer FMINLAT than the tibial nerve, while the FNUMBER is higher in the tibial nerve than the peroneal nerve. The differences between the ulnar and median nerve are slight. There is a very high correlation between all 3 latency parameters (FMINLAT, FMAXLAT and FMEANLAT), but no correlation between FDISP and FNUMBER and the other parameters. Side to side comparisons reveals no significant differences in any of the parameters except for the median nerve FMINLAT and FMEANLAT, which is 0.2 ms longer on the right than left. If side difference of more than 2 standard deviation is taken as the upper limit for normal, the side difference in arms is 1.4 ms and in legs 3 ms. In repeated studies the interexaminer variability is small; the correlation coefficient between the different F parameters is high (P>0.6 in arms and P>0.7 in legs). In the arms the upper limit for a significant difference of FMINLAT on repeated studies in the median nerve is 1.0 and 1.7 ms for the ulnar nerve. In the legs, FMINLAT for the peroneal nerve is 2.6 ms and for the tibial nerve is 2.1 ms.
> Conclusions: > This large reference value database can be used not only to evaluate single measurements in relation with height and age, but also to compare right and left side and changes over time at repeated studies.
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