What is electromyography?

Updated: Aug 20, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Jonathan P Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Electrodiagnostic testing encompasses a range of specialized tests, including nerve conduction studies (NCS) and needle electromyography (EMG), that are used to evaluate the conduction of electrical impulses along peripheral nerves. These tests should be considered and performed only after a careful history and physical examination, which are sometimes sufficient to establish a diagnosis of neuromuscular dysfunction without further testing. However, in some cases, the subtlety of sensory or motor deficits necessitates further workup for a conclusive diagnosis. [1]

Nerve conduction studies and needle EMG are commonly performed by physical medicine and rehabilitation or neurology specialists to assess the ability of the nervous system to conduct electrical impulses and to evaluate nerve/muscle function to determine if neuromuscular disease is present.


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