Which findings on electromyographic samplings are characteristic of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jan 17, 2020
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Electromyographic sampling of distal lower extremity muscles may reveal acute and ongoing denervation in the form of positive sharp waves and fibrillation potentials (spontaneous discharges). Reinnervation changes such as large-amplitude, long-duration, and polyphasic motor unit potentials reflect chronicity. Abnormalities in paraspinal muscles (eg, spontaneous discharges) usually reflect disease in spinal nerve roots.

Some studies have proposed that the severity of electrophysiologic abnormalities not only correlates with symptoms but also predicts the level of morbidity related to DM. Most authors suggest the NCV results to be stable or worsening over time; however, in 1998, Tkac found that the NCV levels could improve with glycemic control. [69]

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