What is the role of nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG) in the diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jan 17, 2020
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG) can document the characteristics of the neuropathy (eg, axonal, demyelinating) and the localization (eg, mononeuropathy versus radiculopathy or distal neuropathy) and, possibly, the severity and even prognosis for morbidity. Multiple consensus panels recommend the inclusion of electrophysiologic testing in the evaluation of diabetic neuropathy. These same panels recommend the use of nerve conduction velocity (NCV)/EMG procedures in clinical research studies. An appropriate array of electrodiagnostic tests includes both nerve conduction testing and needle EMG of the most distal muscles usually affected.

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