To the Editor.
—The article, "Nerve Conduction Velocity in the Assessment of Hypertension" by Viskoper, Chaco, and Aviram (Arch Intern Med 128:574-575, 1971) concluded that "nerve conduction velocity can provide us with an objective measurable index of the severity of hypertension." Although one might think that this could be done more easily with a sphygmomanometer, the article does present an interesting attempt to correlate decreases in nerve conduction velocity with increases in blood pressure. However, I am concerned that two factors, which alter nerve conduction and which might play a role in changes in nerve conduction velocity in hypertensive patients, were not taken into account.First, it is well documented that nerve conduction velocity decreases with a decrease in nerve temperature. Henriksen1 found that conduction velocity is reduced approximately 2.4 meters per second for each degree centigrade drop in temperature. Other investigators have reported a decrease in conduction velocity
Kraft GH. Nerve Conduction Velocity. Arch Intern Med. 1972;130(3):447. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.03650030119027