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Motor nerve conduction parameters in patients with iron deficiency anemia

Anandhalakshmi Swaminathan, Subramaniyan Kumarasamy, Sundar Shanmugam, Saravanan Ayyavoo, Sundaravadivelu Velayutham.

Background: Worldwide, iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional problem. Iron is very essential and has many important functions in brain energy metabolism, neurotransmitter function, and myelin formation. IDA may cause nerve dysfunctions.

Aims and Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of IDA on peripheral motor nerve function.

Materials and Methods: A total of 40 individuals (25 females and 15 males) with IDA in the age range of 20-50 years from the Department of Medicine, SRM Medical College, as the study group and 30 participants (20 females and 10 males) without anemia as the control group were enrolled into this cross-sectional study. Patients with history of diabetes mellitus, neuromuscular, metabolic, vasculitic, or rheumatologic diseases and those taking medications that may alter central or peripheral nerve function were excluded from the study. The motor nerve conduction parameters, viz., distal latency, amplitude of compound muscle action potential (CMAP), and motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) were recorded bilaterally in median, ulnar, and posterior tibial nerves using standard protocols and settings. Values from patients were compared with those of controls by unpaired studentís t-test and one-way ANOVA.

Results: The observations revealed significantly prolonged distal motor latencies, reduced CMAP amplitudes, and slowed MNCV in the peripheral nerves in IDA.

Conclusion: The results indicated that the alteration in motor conduction parameters in IDA might be due to various functional and structural changes in peripheral nerves associated with iron deficiency.

Key words: Iron Deficiency Anemia; Motor Nerve Conduction; Peripheral Neuropathy

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