Automatic analysis of the electromyographic interference pattern. Part II: Findings in control subjects and in some neuromuscular diseases.
The electromyographic (EMG) interference pattern (IP) was measured in the biceps muscle of 16 normal male and 17 normal female subjects. The activity, upper centile amplitude (UCA), and the number of small segments (NSS) (defined in a companion paper) were measured from 500-msec epochs of the IP. The normal values of these features were defined separately for men and women by plotting the UCA and NSS values against activity for each epoch and defining an area on these plots, called a "cloud," that contained more than 90% of the datum points from each study. The mean deviation of the individual datum points from the overall mean values was also calculated for each study. A study in one muscle is considered to be normal if more than 90% of the datum points from that muscle are within the normal clouds and the deviation values are within their normal range. In patients with neuropathy, the characteristic pattern was increased UCA with normal or decreased NSS. In patients with myopathy, NSS was increased and the UCA was normal or decreased. In all studies, the interpretations of the IP from the plots agreed with qualitative assessments of the IP made independently by an electromyographer. The use of these features to understand and quantitate the changes in the motor units produced by disease is demonstrated by serial studies performed in a patient with motor neuron disease.
Nandedkar, SD; Sanders, DB; Stålberg, EV
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