Ultrasound of the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve in Asymptomatic Adults

Jiaan Zhu; Yiwen Zhao; Fang liu; Yunxia Huang; Junjie Shao; Bing Hu

Disclosures

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012;13(227) 

In This Article

Abstract

Background To define the sites where the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) is more easily visualized and to describe the anatomical variations of the LFCN.

Methods A total of 240 LFCNs in 120 volunteers were evaluated with 18 MHz ultrasound; the intermuscular space between the tensor fasciae latae muscle and the sartorius was used as an initial sonographic landmark. The time taken to identify the nerve was recorded. The number of nerve branches at the level of the inguinal ligament (IL) and the relationship between the LFCN and the IL was assessed. The nerve cross-sectional area (CSA) of the LFCN and the distance between the LFCN and the anterior superior iliac spine was measured.

Results Each nerve was identified using ultrasound in all participants. The mean time for identifying the nerve was 7s for unilateral LFCNs. The nerve passed under the IL in 198 cases, whereas in 44 cases, it passed through to the IL. The LFCN consisted of 1–4 branches just after its passage under or through the IL. The CSA of the LFCN was 1.04±0.44 mm2, and the mean distance between the LFCN and the anterior superior iliac spine was 15.6 ± 4.2 mm.

Conclusions It is easier to identify the LFCN if the intermuscular space between the tensor fasciae latae muscle and the sartorius is used as an initial sonographic landmark. The anatomical variation of the LFCN can be viewed with high-frequency ultrasound.

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