Research Article|Articles in Press

The effect of anthropometric characteristics and electronic device use on median nerve cross-sectional area: A cross-sectional study

Published:March 12, 2023DOI:


      • The cross-sectional area of the median nerve as measured by diagnostic ultrasound is larger in healthy individuals over 40 compared to those under years old.
      • The cross-sectional area of the median nerve as measured by diagnostic ultrasound is larger in healthy individuals with an elevated body mass index and weight.
      • Anthropometric and demographic characteristics including age, body mass index, and weight should be considered when examining the cross sectional area of the median nerve at the wrist, especially when determining cut-off points for establishing a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.



      This study aimed to identify the relationship between age, body mass index (BMI), weight, height, and wrist circumference and median nerve cross-sectional area (CSA). The study also aimed to examine the difference between CSA in individuals reporting a high amount (>4 hours per day) of electronic device use compared to those reporting a low amount (≤4 hours per day).


      One hundred twelve healthy individuals volunteered to participate in the study. Anthropometric, demographic, and self-reported electronic device usage data were collected. A transverse image of the median nerve was captured using ultrasonography from the dominant wrist at the carpal tunnel inlet . A Spearman's rho correlation coefficient was used to examine correlations between participant characteristics (age, BMI, weight, height, and wrist circumference) and CSA. Separate Mann-Whitney U tests were used to examine differences in CSA in those younger and older than age 40, in those with BMI <25 kg/m2 and BMI ≥25 kg/m2, and in high and low-frequency device users.


      BMI, weight, and wrist circumference showed fair correlations with CSA. There were significant differences in CSA between individuals younger than 40 and those older than 40 and between individuals with BMI <25kg/m2 and those with BMI ≥25kg/m2. There were no statistically significant differences in CSA in the low- and high-use electronic device groups.


      Anthropometric and demographic characteristics including age and BMI or weight should be considered when examining the CSA of the median nerve, especially when determining cut-off points for establishing a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.


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