Decomposition-based quantitative electromyography in the evaluation of muscular dystrophy severity

Kendra L Derry, Shannon L Venance, Timothy J Doherty
Muscle & Nerve 2012, 45 (4): 507-13

INTRODUCTION: Electromyography is useful in the diagnosis of myopathies, but its utility in determining disease severity requires further investigation. In this study we aimed to determine whether decomposition-based quantitative electromyography (DQEMG) could indicate the severity of involvement in a cohort of patients with muscular dystrophies (MDs).

METHODS: Fifteen patients with facioscapulohumeral (FSHD), limb-girdle (LGMD), and Becker (BMD) muscular dystrophy, and 7 healthy controls, participated in this investigation. Knee extensor isometric strength differentiated the "more severe" and "less severe" MD groups. The vastus lateralis (VL), biceps brachii (BB), and tibialis anterior (TA) muscle groups were investigated using DQEMG.

RESULTS: All muscles from the MD group showed changes in mean MUP (motor unit potential) AAR (area-to-amplitude ratio), and turns, compared with controls (P < 0.05). More severely affected muscles (VL and BB) also had shortened mean MUP durations compared with controls (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: DQEMG was capable of indicating the severity of MD involvement, as changes in MUP morphology reflected the progressive nature of the disease.

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