December 5, 1966

Effect of Tissue Temperatures and Blood Flow on Motor Nerve Conduction Velocity

Author Affiliations

From the departments of physical medicine and rehabilitation and medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago.

JAMA. 1966;198(10):1082-1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230098021

The existence of a relationship between peripheral nerve conduction velocity and ambient temperature is supported by considerable experimental evidence.1-5 For example, Rosenberg and Sugimoto1 exposed the sciatic nerve of frogs to a temperature range of 78.8 to 38.3 F (26 to 3.5 C) and noted that, on the average, conduction velocity decreased from 33 meters/sec to 6 meters/sec, the change occurring slowly above 53.6 F (12 C) and rapidly below this level. Gasser,2 using the phrenic nerve of the dog, also showed that cooling this structure decreased its conduction velocity. Chatfield et al3 subsequently performed a similar type of procedure on the tibial nerves of rats and hamsters and came to the same conclusion. Tasaki and Fujita,4 studying the isolated single nerve fiber of the toad, found that the relationship between the ambient temperature and the logarithms of conduction time, spike duration, and chronaxie for