What are the F waves in nerve conduction studies?

Updated: Aug 20, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Jonathan P Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

The F wave is a late response involving the motor axons that can be elicited in most upper and lower extremity muscles. A stimulus is applied to a distal motor nerve that travels antidromically from the peripheral nerve, to the anterior horn cell, and a response fires back down the motor neuron and is recorded as a muscle response that occurs after the compound muscle action potential. F waves tend to have lower sensitivity for radiculopathy but can be useful in the assessment of polyneuropathy.


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