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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5101925, 7 pages
Clinical Study

A Longitudinal fMRI Research on Neural Plasticity and Sensory Outcome of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

1Department of Hand Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 12 Wulumuqi Middle Road, Shanghai 200040, China
2Department of Central Laboratory, Jing’an District Centre Hospital, Shanghai, China
3Department of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Jing’an District Centre Hospital, Shanghai, China
4Key Laboratory of Hand Reconstruction, Ministry of Health, Shanghai, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Mouxiong Zheng and Wendong Xu

Received 25 April 2017; Revised 7 August 2017; Accepted 10 September 2017; Published 16 November 2017

Academic Editor: Rosa A. González-Polo

Copyright © 2017 Hao Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Peripheral nerve compression is reported to induce cortical plasticity, which was well pictured by former researches. However, the longitudinal changes brought by surgical treatment are not clear. In this research, 18 subjects who suffered from bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome were evaluated using task-dependent fMRI and electromyography assessment before and after surgery. The third digit was tactually simulated by von Frey filaments. The results demonstrated that the pattern of activation was similar but a decreased extent of activation in the postcentral gyrus, inferior frontal lobe, superior frontal lobe, and parahippocampal gyrus after surgery was found. The correlation analysis showed a significant correlation between the decreased number of activated voxels and the improvement of EMG performance. This result implied a potential connection between fMRI measurement and clinical improvement.