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Evaluation of an automatic method of measuring features of motor unit action potentials

C R Stewart, S D Nandedkar, J M Massey, J M Gilchrist, P E Barkhaus, D B Sanders
Muscle & Nerve 1989, 12 (2): 141-8
This study was performed to evaluate an automatic method of motor unit action potential (MUAP) analysis developed in our laboratory. MUAPs were recorded from the biceps brachii muscle of 68 normal subjects and 122 patients with nerve or muscle disease. The values of mean MUAP durations from normal subjects obtained by automatic analysis were similar to those reported in the literature. However, the normal range of MUAP amplitude and the incidence of polyphasic MUAPs were much higher. Normal ranges of mean MUAP area, area/amplitude ratio, and the number of turns were also defined. Automatic analysis demonstrated an abnormality of at least one MUAP feature in 70% of patients. There was concordance between automated analysis and visual assessment of MUAPs in 76% of patients with neuropathy but in only 50% of patients with myopathy. The relationships between different MUAP features seen in neuropathy and myopathy are explained in physiologic terms.

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