What is the role of EMG and NCV in the diagnosis of spinal cord infarction?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Thomas F Scott, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) determination will reveal deficits in H and F waves early after the onset of ischemia and subsequent loss of motor action potentials and changes of denervation. These occur because of the loss of anterior horn and other cells in the spinal cord.

For differentiating spinal cord infarction from polyneuropathy: EMG and NCV findings are usually (approximately 75%) abnormal in AIDP and can be of value in this differential consideration. Enhancement of the nerve roots after gadolinium administration appears to be specific and useful in making the diagnosis of AIDP.


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