Tag Archive: ETFMx

  1. Multi-frequency Vibrometry Demonstrates Strong Correlation with Nerve Conduction Velocity in Detection of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

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    This fresh research out of Sweden by Ekman et al assessed the ability of multiple vibration frequencies to detect diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). They found that combinations of high (125 Hz and 250 Hz) and low ( 4 Hz and 8 Hz) frequencies were most effective with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.83. They subsequently searched for correlations  between vibration testing and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing. Interestingly, the strongest correlation with NVC testing was noted when results from the sural nerve were negatively correlated the 5th metatarsal head vibration testing at 125 Hz ((Spearman correlation: r=-0.715, p<0.0001). This varies from current clinical practice guidelines recommending vibration testing with a 128 Hz tuning fork applied to the dorsal aspect of the interphalangeal joint of the great toe.

    Another interesting finding in the results but not discussed in the paper were the correlations of NCVs and vibration testing at 64 Hz and 125Hz at the first metatarsal head. Positive correlations of r=0.66 (64 Hz) and r=0.64 (125 Hz) were noted. These correlations support current clinical practice guidelines and may suggest that 64 Hz is a good alternative to use of the 128 Hz tuning fork. Our ETFMx offers multiple frequencies for those providers interested in expanding their options in this regard.



  2. Vibration Testing Documents Outcomes After Neurosurgery

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    As many of our chiropractic customers know, tuning forks can be useful tools in detecting radiculopathy. This is especially apparent in unilateral cases. It is even noted, sometimes incidentally, in the podiatry clinic. The ETF is adept at detecting these disparities due to the quantitative results inherent in its timed vibration test (TVT). An example of this may be seen in patients with a 7-8 second differential between right and left limbs on the TVT. Further questioning of these patients often reveals an established history of a herniated disc or vague but recurrent complaints of low back pain or sciatica.

    Now recent research out of Austria’s Medical University Innsbruck has confirmed the value of  vibration testing in documenting sensation improvement after neurosurgery. In their 2017 article, The value of quantitative sensory testing in spine research, Tschugg et al. document pre- and postoperative values in a battery of quantitative sensory tests (QST) and self-assessment questionnaires in patients with MRI-confirmed single lumbar disc herniation undergoing sequestrectomy. Their findings confirmed significant postoperative improvement in vibration perception as detected by the Rydell-Seifer 64 Hz tuning fork. This quantitative vibration test along with “mechanical detection thresholds” (MDT) administered with customized von Frey hairs were noted to be the most important modalities for detecting and following sensory deficits in this patient population.

    These findings may expand the role of quantitative vibration testing to include routine pre- and postoperative assessment of neurosurgery patients. Products like the Rydell-Seifer tuning fork and the ETFMx are ideally suited to this task due to their quantitative output and 64 Hz vibration frequency. Given the results of Tschugg and colleagues, these point-of-care tests along with the patient self-assessments described in their study could become the new standard for evaluating patient outcomes after neurosurgery.

    Herniated Disc

  3. O’Brien Medical Announces Product Launch for ETFMx

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    O’Brien Medical is pleased to announce the official launch of the ETFMx multi-frequency electronic tuning fork. Building on the success of the ETF128, the Mx takes vibration testing to the next level. Now clinicians can test patient’s sensation with the three most used frequencies in medicine, 64, 128 and 256 Hz. This multi-frequency instrument saves time and money by essentially integrating three tuning forks into one. The Mx will be sold exclusively through the company website and select distribution partners.


    ETFMx (64,128 and 256 Hz)