Multi Frequency Vibrometry (also called tactilometry) is an objective medical quantitative sensory test method used in diagnostics of sensibility by measuring the ability to perceive vibration on fingers and feet. The basic method is described in the ISO 13091-1/2 standard.
Vibrometry performed at several frequencies, i.e. Multi-frequency Tactilometry, provides an early indication of sensory impairments due to incipient neuropathy or nerve entrapments such as Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Multi Frequency Vibrometry is an objective medical quantitative sensory test used to evaluate how well fingers and feet are able to perceive vibrations. The basic method is described in the ISO 13091-1/2 standard.
Vibrometry performed at several frequencies (Multi-frequency Vibrometry) provides an early indication of sensory impairment due to incipient neuropathy or nerve entrapment, such as Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Multi Frequency Vibrometry was developed by Professor Göran Lundborg et. al, at the Skåne University Hospital in Sweden.
The method is similar to the common hearing test. One finger is exposed to controlled mechanical vibrations of varying intensity and frequency.
The patient indicates by pushing a button when s/he feels a vibration on the exposed finger. The VibroSense Meter is a superior example of a medical device for Multi-frequency Vibrometry examinations.
Area of Interest
Multi Frequency Vibrometry can be used in several contexts where neuropathy occurs, such as hand-arm vibration damage, diabetes, alcoholism, and work with solvents and drugs.
Sensibility injuries often develop insidiously over time, for example after work with vibrating tools where vibrations are transmitted from the tool to the fingers, hands and arms. This is a common condition in industries such as auto repair, construction, engineering, dental and foot care.
Physiological measurement principle
Our ability to sense vibration is part of our sense of touch. The skin contains a number of so-called mechanoreceptors, activated by stimuli such as static pressure and vibration. There are several types of receptors that respond to different frequencies.
The ability to perceive vibrations is normally at maximum at frequencies between 200-250 Hz. The sensitivity for vibration thresholds diminishes with age, in particular the ability to sense higher frequencies. This is very similar to age-related hearing loss.
Mechanoreceptors are connected through nerves to nerve trunks that lead to the brain through different pathways. A patient's inability to sense a frequency may therefore reflect several things, ranging from a large fibre neuropathy in the fingers or impaired mechanoreceptors, to nerve entrapments (in the wrist, elbow, and neck) on the way to the brain.
Multi Frequency Vibrometry utilises the fact that receptors respond to different frequencies, which provides the physician with valuable information as a diagnostic aid.