Document Detail

The vibration quantitation scale (VQS): a simple, reproducible bedside measure of sensory function in multiple sclerosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15595253     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To assess the utility of a bedside measure of sensation (the Vibration Quantitation Scale (VQS)) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and in normal controls. To correlate the VQS with the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Severity Score (EDSS) and sensory abnormalities in these patients. METHODS: We developed the VQS and tested its performance in patients with MS of various ages, MS types, and EDSS scores. We compared this with controls (normal volunteers or patients with other neurological diseases) who did not have sensory symptoms. In a subgroup, two examiners measured VQS independently at the same patient visit. A standard C-128 tuning fork was used for the VQS measurement. RESULTS: The VQS had a good inter-observer reproducibility (r=0.920, p<0.001). The VQS fell with increasing age in normals consistent with declining sensory function. The VQS was significantly lower in the multiple sclerosis patients compared with age - matched controls (p<0.001). Abnormalities in VQS were present in patients with brief duration of MS (<5 years) and low EDSS scores, correlating with the presence of sensory abnormalities early in the disease course in some patients. There was a strong correlation between the VQS and EDSS (r=-.509). The VQS correlated with abnormal sensation in the hands (r=0.310), but did not meet statistical significance for abnormal sensation in the feet or face. A second cohort of MS patients was studied using a modified VQS measure (single stimulation, omitting forehead measurement). This reconfirmed the correlation between the modified VQS and EDSS as well as with age. The modified VQS may be useful in clinical practice since it takes little time and is strongly correlated with the EDSS (r=0.578). CONCLUSIONS: The VQS provides a continuous sensory scale applicable in most patients with MS, which is measurable with standard bedside equipment, and which may avoid some of the pitfalls of sensory scoring in MS.
J Carter; T Wasser; S Statler; A D Rae-Grant
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Comparative Study; Journal Article; Validation Studies    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0317-1671     ISO Abbreviation:  Can J Neurol Sci     Publication Date:  2004 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-12-14     Completed Date:  2005-02-10     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0415227     Medline TA:  Can J Neurol Sci     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  490-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pa. 18103, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / statistics & numerical data*
Disability Evaluation
Middle Aged
Multiple Sclerosis / complications*,  diagnosis,  physiopathology
Observer Variation
Reproducibility of Results
Sensation Disorders / complications,  diagnosis*
Severity of Illness Index

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