Analysis of the maturation of the peripheral nervous system in neonates, infants and children using high-resolution ultrasound imaging
Ongoing - recruitment active · 2021 until 2023
During early childhood nerve conduction velocity (NCS) increases from 20m/s at the time of birth to almost adult values of 50m/s at two years of age. How this increase in NCS is correlated to the structural maturation of the peripheral nerves is unknown. In a previous study we showed for the median nerve a similar increase of the cross-sectional area (CSA) and the NCS with greatest changes taking place during the first two years of life. After this period the growth rate gradually slows at the proximal and distal locations of a peripheral nerve. Our pilot study raises important questions that will be addressed with the exploratory study proposed here. These questions are: Is there a difference in the maturation of the nerves of the upper and lower limb and do the proximal and distal parts of a specific nerve (i.e. the sciatic) mature at the same time or is there a developmental gradient between proximal and distal? Therefore, we aim to conduct a cross-sectional high-resolution nerve ultrasound exploratory study at the Ostschweizer Kinderspital analysing the CSA for the nerves of the upper and lower limb in children aged between 0 days to two years to adress this question.