Compound nerve action potential (CNAP) of the mixed peripheral nerve is composed of A alpha beta, A delta, and C potentials. All components of CNAPs in the sciatic nerve were recorded by stimulating the tibial nerve of both control and lead-poisoned rats. Marked decrease of nerve conduction velocity and prolonged duration were found in A alpha beta and A delta fibers especially in large myelinated A alpha beta fibers. The amplitude decreased in A alpha beta potential, but the area did not change. In C potential produced by activation of unmyelinated fibers, nerve conduction velocity slightly decreased, but the amplitude and area did not significantly change. Pathologic correlates revealed prominent segmental demyelination with significant decrease of large myelinated fiber densities. Minimal axonal degeneration of unmyelinated fibers was present. We can conclude that electrophysiologic changes in the lead-poisoned rats correlate with pathologic changes in them
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