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Motor unit number estimation via MScanFit MUNE in spinal muscular atrophy.

Muscle & Nerve 2024 March 30
INTRODUCTION/AIMS: MScanFit MUNE (MScanFit) is a novel tool to derive motor unit number estimates (MUNEs) from compound muscle action potential (CMAP) scans. Few studies have explored its utility in 5q spinal muscular atrophy (SMA5q) patients, assessing only the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. We aimed to assess different distal muscles in pediatric and adult SMA5q patients, further evaluating clinical-electrophysiological correlations.

METHODS: We analyzed MScanFit parameters reflecting the extent of denervation (MUNE; N50) and parameters of collateral reinnervation in APB, abductor digiti minimi (ADM), and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles. SMA patients were clinically evaluated using standardized motor function clinical scales, including the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale - Expanded and the Revised Upper Limb Module.

RESULTS: A total of 23 SMA5q (9 SMA type 2 and 14 SMA type 3) and 12 age-matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled. SMA patients showed lower MUNE and N50 values and higher parameters of collateral sprouting in all muscles compared to HC (p < .001). SMA type 2 patients demonstrated lower MUNE and higher collateral reinnervation values in APB and TA compared to SMA type 3 (p < .05). Walker patients showed higher values of MUNE and N50, and lower parameters of reinnervation in all muscles compared to sitters (p < .05). MScanFit parameters showed strong correlations (Rho-values ranging from .72 to .83) with clinical measurements. MUNE values were abnormal in muscles that were not clinically affected.

DISCUSSION: MScanFit parameters showed promise as an outcome measure. Further studies, particularly longitudinal ones, are needed to evaluate MScanFit in measuring response to treatments.

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