Decreased prevalence of peripheral nerve pathology by electrodiagnostic testing in Gulf War veterans

Thomas K. Joseph*, Leslie Foster, Paul F. Pasquina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective was to report the results of electrodiagnostic testing performed on 56 U.S. Persian Gulf War (GW) veterans versus 120 U.S. non-Persian Gulf War (N-GW) patients referred to a physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic. Design: A retrospective review of medical records was conducted. Materials and Methods: Patient medical records of U.S. GW and N-GW patients were reviewed. Patient demographics, reason for consultation, and results of electrodiagnostic testing were extracted from both groups. Results were recorded as positive (abnormal) or negative (normal) occurrence of radiculopathy, generalized peripheral polyneuropathy, and mononeuropathy. The results were then compared using Fisher's exact test. Results: Of the patients referred to rule out a radiculopathy, one of the GW patients (1 of 73) had a positive study, whereas 9 of 38 N-GW patients had positive studies (p = 0.000). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups with respect to the presence of generalized peripheral polyneuropathy or mononeuropathy. Conclusion: This retrospective review of medical records reveals no objective evidence from electrodiagnostic testing of an increased incidence of neuromuscular disease in GW veteran patients compared with N-GW patients. On the contrary, our results reveal a statistically lower incidence of positive electrodiagnostic testing within the GW veteran group, suggesting a lower threshold for referral of GW veteran patients for electrodiagnostic testing than N-GW patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-871
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


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