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Single fiber EMG and repetitive stimulation of the same muscle in myasthenia gravis

J M Gilchrist, J M Massey, D B Sanders
Muscle & Nerve 1994, 17 (2): 171-5
We performed RNS and SFEMG studies of the same muscle in 46 patients with myasthenia gravis. Maximum decrement to 3-5-Hz stimulation before and after maximum voluntary exercise, percentage of action potential pairs with increased jitter and blocking, and mean MCD in each study were compared. A significant decrement (> 10% decrease in CMAP area or amplitude between the first and fourth response) was never found without increased jitter and impulse blocking on SFEMG. Increased jitter, blocking, and mean MCD were each correlated with maximum decrement (r > 0.61, P < 0.0001). We conclude that decrement to RNS and impulse blocking on SFEMG result from the same physiologic phenomenon, and that SFEMG is more sensitive at detecting disordered neuromuscular transmission given its ability to detect impulse blocking at levels below the resolution of RNS and increased neuromuscular jitter when there is not blocking.

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