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Electromyography (EMG)

Electromyography (EMG)

What is it?

As part of the workup for peripheral neuropathy it is often necessary to obtain studies referred to as nerve conduction studies (NCS) and an electromyogram or electromyography (EMG). Nerve conduction studies, among other things, can determine the speed nerves conduct electricity (aka nerve conduction velocity or NCV) and the amount of electricity conducted (amplitude and area under the curve) to quantify the severity of neuropathy, the limbs and/or nerves affected, and the type of neuropathy present.

What is the purpose?

An electromyogram can help determine the distribution and amount of nerve fibers lost and is indispensable in determining what level of the nervous system is affected. All of this information can assist with further diagnostic workup and can guide the most appropriate treatment.

What can I expect?

The appointment will take around 30 to 40 minutes and involves placing electrodes on the skin to measure electrical activity, and producing muscle spasms through electrical stimulation. Electrical impulses are also measured through a very fine wire inserted into the muscle, which usually produces very little discomfort. This is an outpatient procedure and will not require you to have a driver from the appointment.