Single fibre electromyography in various processes affecting the anterior horn cell

E Stålberg, M S Schwartz, J V Trontelj
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 1975, 24 (4): 403-15
SFEMG recordings were carried out in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy, familial spinal muscular atrophy and syringomyelia. The fibre density was increased in all conditions, especially in progressive muscular atrophy indicating marked collateral sprouting. The duration of the action potential was increased indicating a mixture of hypertrophic and atrophic fibres and slowly conducting newly formed nerve sprouts. The action potentials were unstable with varying degree of impulse blocking especially in the more progressive cases (ALS), representing recent re-innervation. The SFEMG method is used to characterize the functional status of the motor unit and helps in diagnosis and in predicting prognosis. In addition, SFEMG recordings reveal abnormalities in clinically and electromyographically normal muscles.

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