What is it?
Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is a method used to assess damage to the small nerve endings, which detect changes in temperature, and the large nerve endings, which detect vibration.
Why do it?
QST is used to diagnose and assess the severity of nerve damage, especially in the small nerve endings. It can also help determine if a neuropathy is responding to treatment. It is used to diagnose many different types of neuropathies, including peripheral neuropathies. It may also be used to identify where the nerves are damaged.
How is it performed?
QST uses a computer testing system to measure how the nerves involved react to vibration and changes in temperature. The test results are compared to a series of “normal” patients as well as to the patient’s unaffected side.
How will it feel?
Depending on the specific test, the patient will feel mild vibrations and hot and cold sensations. The procedure is non-invasive—no needles are used. Overall, little or no discomfort should be felt during the test.