February 1997

Conduction Velocity of the Human Inferior Alveolar NerveNormative Data

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr Colin is now with the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University, St Louis, Mo.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(2):185-189. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900020069010

Objectives:  To present normative conduction velocity data for the uninjured human inferior alveolar nerve, and to determine if there are differences in inferior alveolar conduction velocities for either side or for gender.

Design:  An electrophysiological evaluation of the sensory nerve to the lip and chin was performed.

Subjects:  Bilateral human inferior alveolar nerve compound action potentials were recorded from each of 46 successive healthy volunteer subjects.

Interventions:  Electrically evoked sensory compound action potentials were recorded from the mandibular foramen by stimulation at the mental foramen. The interelectrode distance was measured from a calibrated radiograph. The conduction velocity was calculated at the onset of the waveform and at the maximal amplitude of the waveform.

Results:  The mean maximal conduction velocity was 65.0 m/s, with no differences shown for right or left sides or for gender. There was a slight decrement in conduction velocity with age.

Conclusions:  Conduction velocity testing of the inferior alveolar nerve is feasible and practical. These normative data should serve as a reference for future conduction studies of the inferior alveolar nerve in health, injury, and after repair.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:185-189