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Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test

Introduction

A Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test is an electrodiagnostic procedure that measures how well a nerve works and helps to specify the site of nerve compression.  Nerves carry messages between the brain and body.  Many conditions, such as tissue swelling, injury, and disease, can put pressure on a nerve and impair its ability to function.  Doctors use nerve conduction velocity tests to help diagnose nerve problems and plan treatments.

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Diagnosis
Nerve conduction velocity tests are usually fast outpatient electrodiagnostic procedures.  NCV testing can take place at a doctor's office or in a hospital.  The nerves in the arms and legs are common test sites. 
 
Before the nerve test begins, your doctor or a diagnostic technician will place sticky patches with electrodes on your skin over the course of a specific nerve.  During the study, a nerve is stimulated in one or several places.   A computer measures the time it takes for a message (nerve impulse) to travel to a second place.  A nerve conduction study may feel slightly uncomfortable.
 
Your doctor will analyze the NCV results.  By doing so, your doctor can determine if the nerve is functioning as it should.  Your doctor will share the results of your NCV electrodiagnostic test with you.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.