JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sensitivity of motor unit potential analysis in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

Simon Podnar, Janez Zidar
Muscle & Nerve 2006, 34 (4): 451-6
16830333
Template-operated motor unit potential (MUP) analysis has made quantitative electromyography (EMG) feasible, even in busy laboratories, but validation of this approach is still necessary. In the present study, the utility of multi-MUP analysis was assessed in patients with a molecular genetic diagnosis of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Manual assessment of muscle strength and concentric-needle EMG of the biceps brachii and vastus lateralis muscles were performed. The sensitivity for diagnosing myopathy (mean values and outliers) was tested for eight MUP parameters and four of their combinations. The group comprised 31 patients. Elbow flexion and knee extension strength was normal in 45% and 52% of patients, respectively. The most sensitive MUP parameter was thickness, followed by duration. A combination of three MUP parameters (thickness, amplitude, and duration/area) was needed for maximal sensitivity. The study demonstrated a high sensitivity of multi-MUP analysis in FSHD. Myopathic abnormalities were demonstrated in all weak biceps brachii muscles, and in 77% of biceps brachii muscles with normal strength.

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